The company said that the aircraft no longer represented a ‘compelling’ growth opportunity, and that the discontinuation of the K-MAX was part of its strategy to streamline its operations and improve profitability.
In a statement, the company said that: “Given low demand and variation in annual deliveries, coupled with low profitability and large working capital inventory requirements, K-MAX does not deliver the most compelling growth opportunity for Kaman going forward. As such, Kaman will discontinue K-MAX and K-MAX TITAN production this year.”
It added that, despite this, the company would ‘continue to support the existing K-MAX fleet in operation, including providing operators with repair, spare parts, and fleet services as well as training’.
Over the course of its 30-year production, 60 K-MAX helicopters have been produced. This includes 38 aircraft during its initial run of production between 1991 and 2003, which was ended due to low demand. Following a resurgence in market interest, production was resumed – however interest has proven not to be sustained.
In addition to being used on the battlefield by the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan, the K-MAX has also found use in the external load transport, aerial firefighting and logging markets – due to its ability to carry external loads of up to 6,000lb (2,722kg) at sea level.