Navy Awards Contract to Lockheed for Expanded UAV Role

by: Matthew Potter
December 6, 2010

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Kaman Corp, Lockheed Martin, logistics, Military Aviation, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

The primary mission of existing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is in the realm of ISR. There are also some armed systems being used to conduct precision attacks by the U.S. Air Force, CIA and U.S. Army. The UAV fleet used by the U.S. consists of systems that provide detailed intelligence and surveillance in support of tactical units like the RQ-11A/B Raven and medium systems such as the General Atomics Predator that do patrols as well as strikes. The Global Hawk made by Northrop Grumman (NOC) carries out long range strategic intelligence collection missions replacing manned aircraft like the U-2/TR-1 and SR-71.

The next area being explored by the U.S. is there use to support logistic transport missions. The Army, U.S. Marine Corps and other Agencies are already working on autonomous trucks that will allow resupply convoys with limited manpower. Now the Navy is exploring using UAV to do Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) missions between ships.

Currently SH-60 SeaHawk aircraft made by Sikorsky (UTC) are used to ferry supplies and personnel back-and-forth from resupply ships to combatants. This often occurred while the ships were conducting standard underway replenishment missions. The Navy would also use available Marine helicopters to help move supplies around task forces. Now they have awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a contract to work with Kaman (KAMN) to develop two K-MAX helicopters and supporting assets to try out this mission. The initial contract has a value of just over $45 million.

Kaman developed the K-MAX as a heavy lift helicopter for use in the logging and other industries. It is a twin rotor helicopter with minimal crew requirements maximizing its payload ability.

Lockheed Martin and Kaman will build unmanned versions for the Navy to allow testing and demonstration of the capability.

It seems UAVs will soon have expanded roles on the battlefield.

Photo from chimothy27 flickr photostream.

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  1. Tweets that mention Navy Awards Contract to Lockheed for Expanded UAV Role | Defense Procurement News -- Topsy.com on December 6th, 2010 4:03 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dagpotter and DefProcureNews, LockheedFanBot. LockheedFanBot said: RT @Dagpotter Navy Awards Contract to Lockheed for Expanded UAV Role | Defense Procurement News http://bit.ly/gSKJ2y #in […]

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