The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $47 million contract to develop, demonstrate and deliver autonomous technologies for unmanned air systems in support of in-theater unmanned cargo resupply missions, the company announced Wednesday.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace will demonstrate intelligent autonomous technologies for unmanned aerial systems using the K-MAX helicopter platform, which is optimized for external load operations. The two companies have successfully been partnered since 2007.
The Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate is investing in mature technologies that will enhance unmanned cargo resupply capabilities by improving autonomous operations, increasing delivery accuracy and reducing ground control station operator workload. Prior to being deployed for cargo resupply missions, the technology will be demonstrated in an operationally realistic environment on the unmanned K-MAX.
"Lockheed Martin's experience, resources and proven K-MAX platform will allow us to meet the Army's objectives," said Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation Systems at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors. "We are eager to develop and demonstrate the latest autonomous technologies using the mature and low-risk K-MAX platform."