Unmanned K-MAX performs first casevac

Unmanned K-MAX performs first casevac

An unmanned K-MAX helicopter showcased its ability to safely transport a wounded warfighter during a demonstration in March.

Image: The injured individual was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin recently spread the news that an unmanned K-MAX helicopter showcased its ability to safely transport a wounded warfighter during a demonstration on 26 March. Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace and Neya Systems teamed up to demonstrate what they described as ‘the first ever collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation using the unmanned aerial system (UAS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture and K-MAX cargo helicopter’.

During the demonstration, a distress call led ground operators to send an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and the injured party. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested airlift of an injured individual by unmanned K-MAX. From the ground, the K-MAX operators used a tablet computer to determine the precise location and a safe landing area. The injured team member was then strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX, which then flew that individual to safety.

“This application of the unmanned K-MAX enables day or night transport of wounded personnel to safety without endangering additional lives,” commented Jay McConville, director of business development for unmanned integrated solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training.

While deployed with the US Marine Corps from 2011 to 2014, the unmanned K-MAX successfully conducted resupply operations, delivering more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo during more than 1,900 missions, said Lockheed Martin.

Image: The injured individual was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX (Lockheed Martin)