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Sunday, July 1, 2012

K-Max Drone Hooks Up 'Hot' Cargo in Afghanistan

Marines with the Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) perform a “hot hook-up” with a hovering K-Max. USMC

The U.S. Marine Corps has successfully completed a procedure known as a “hot hook-up” using an unmanned Kaman K-Max at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan. Developed with Lockheed Martin, the unmanned K-Max performs the hot hook-up by hovering and deploying a long sling, which Marines with the Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) then load with cargo.

According to Lance Cpl. Vihn Vu, landing support specialist, CLB-5, 1st MLG (Forward), the onboard computer factors in wind speed to reduce “the hook swing” making it safer for Marines to attach the cargo. Another factor that increases safety is that the K-Max’s rotors are made out of wood, eliminating the risk of static electricity.

Prior to the deliveries at Camp Dwyer, the K-Max was only servicing Forward Operating Bases Payne and Geronimo.

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