U.S. Marine Corps to Keep K-MAX Unmanned Cargo Re-supply Helicopter in Theater for Second Deployment Extension — Press Release

WEBSTER FIELD, Md., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — For the second time this year, the U.S. Marine Corps has approved the deployment extension of K-MAX Cargo UAS, the first unmanned helicopter to deliver cargo and resupply troops in a combat zone.

By supplying forward operating bases with K-MAX instead of ground convoy or manned aircraft, the Marine Corps has reduced the threat posed to personnel by improvised explosive devices by thousands of hours.

Earlier this year, the Marine Corps requested the aircraft, a joint effort by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Kaman Aerospace (NYSE: KAMN), stay in theater through September 30, the end of this fiscal year. Today’s announcement extends K-MAX service in Afghanistan for an additional six months and includes an option to extend its time through September 2013.

“K-MAX has proven its value as a reliable cargo resupply aircraft and an asset that saves lives,” said Vice Adm. David Architzel, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, which manages the K-MAX program for the Marine Corps. “The use of this aircraft eliminates the need for manned ground convoys, reducing the number of our warfighters exposed to improvised explosive devices.”

The K-MAX program, developed to satisfy a Joint Urgent Operational Need Statement generated by the Marine Corps in 2010, has flown 485 sorties, 525 hours and lifted more than 1.6 million pounds of cargo since it arrived in theater in November 2011. In May, the aircraft performed a historic “hot hook-up,” enabling personnel to attach cargo to the unmanned aircraft while in hover mode. That capability is now used regularly to perform retrograde missions (when cargo is carried on the return flight as well), increasing the efficiency of the K-MAX.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

Kaman Helicopters is a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation (NYSE: KAMN). Founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Kaman conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets. The company produces and/or markets widely used proprietary aircraft bearings and components; complex metallic and composite aerostructures for commercial, military and general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft; safing and arming solutions for missile and bomb systems for the U.S. and allied militaries; subcontract helicopter work; and support for the company’s SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopters and K-MAX medium-to-heavy lift helicopters. The company is also a leading distributor of industrial parts, and operates nearly 200 customer service centers and five distribution centers across North America.

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The Navy and Marine Corps Select Lockheed Martin/Kaman Unmanned K-MAX for Afghanistan Deployment — Press Release

The Navy and Marine Corps Select Lockheed Martin/Kaman Unmanned K-MAX for Afghanistan Deployment

OWEGO, N.Y., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Marine Corps will deploy the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Kaman [NASDAQ-GS: KAMN] unmanned K-MAX® to Afghanistan next month.

The decision follows the successful completion of a five-day Quick Reaction Assessment for the U.S. Navy’s Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program. A formal report, released last week by Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, confirmed that the unmanned K-MAX exceeded the Navy and Marines’ requirement to deliver 6,000 pounds of cargo per day.

“This announcement underscores K-MAX’s strong performance and the strength of the Lockheed Martin/Kaman team,” said Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation Systems in Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors. “We are fully prepared to deploy our system and augment Marine Corps ground and air logistics in Afghanistan.”

K-MAX will be the Navy’s first-ever cargo unmanned aircraft system to deploy in an operational environment. The deploying team recently concluded training and flight tests at its base in Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., and is currently preparing the aircraft for shipment into theater. The team consists of active duty mission commanders, air vehicle operators and Lockheed Martin employees.

“I am very confident in both the team and the K-MAX UAS to successfully perform their missions while deployed,” said Rear Admiral Bill Shannon, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. “K-MAX has the capability to quickly deliver cargo, thus getting troops off the roads and allowing them to focus on other missions.”

“We are extremely honored to have been selected for deployment by the Navy,” said Sal Bordonaro, division president at Kaman Helicopters. “We are committed to providing the Marine Corps with the life-saving unmanned capability of our proven airframe, reducing the risk to our forces by taking the cargo resupply mission from the ground to the air.”

Since partnering in 2007, Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have successfully transformed Kaman’s proven K-MAX power-lift manned helicopter into a UAS capable of autonomous or remote controlled cargo delivery.

Kaman designed the K-MAX platform, and Lockheed Martin has designed the helicopter’s mission management and control systems to provide the K-MAX with exceptional flight autonomy in remote environments and over long distances.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

Kaman Helicopters is a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation. Founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, the Company conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets.

For additional information, visit our web sites:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ms2

http://www.kaman.com

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

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U.S. Navy Plans Unmanned Aircraft Development Program

The United States has invested a large amount of money the past two decades into unmanned aerial vehicles. Used primarily by the U.S. Army and Air Force they originally conducted reconnaissance and intelligence gathering missions. Since 9/11 several have been weaponized and carried out precision strike missions. The U.S. Navy while doing some R&D has not purchased a full up system yet to be based on ships. This, though, is about to change.

The Marine Corps and Navy are already conducting research into unmanned cargo systems that might eventually replace the current MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky for that mission. These lift loads from supply ships to combat ships as part of underway replenishment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Kaman (KAMN) are doing work with the K-Max helicopter to see how well it works as an unmanned platform.

The Navy just announced the start of a new program called Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MRMUAS) which will begin in FY12 with a goal of entering production late in this decade. The MRMUAS will be primarily oriented towards Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and will be ship based.

As with many programs recently started by the Pentagon several development contracts will be awarded to various companies which will then lead to one or more of them being selected for further development and production.

Several existing systems being developed by defense contracts are certainly available to be proposed for this effort including the K-MAX being looked at for the cargo mission as well as Bell, a part of Textron (TXT), and Boeing (BA) products. This also does not rule out a new development effort for this requirement by any defense contractor.

The shift to using UAS for current manned missions will continue for the foreseeable future. Budget pressures may cause these programs to be delayed or even eliminated especially if there is major cost growth in core Navy systems such as the F-35 JSF or ship construction. Unfortunately as has been shown in the past investment in new systems and technologies may take a back seat to the funding of more important programs. If the Navy has to choose between its newest manned aircraft, new submarines and aircraft carriers over UAS vehicles it will probably be an easy decision.

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Lockheed and Kaman to Work on Unmanned Cargo Aircraft for Army

The u.S. military has invested heavily in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). These primarily perform reconnaissance and intelligence collection missions although they and the C.I.A. have used them for strike missions against limited target sets. As with lots of different countries across the globe the U.S. is looking at other roles for these systems with an eye to freeing up manpower or providing better force protection through limiting exposure of troops.

At the end of last year the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Kaman (KAMN) a contract to develop the K-MAX cargo helicopter into a unmanned resupply system. That contract was worth about $45 million. Now the U.S. Army has followed suit.

They awarded the two companies a similar contract with a value of up to $47 million. This is to also look at making the K-MAX into an unmanned cargo helicopter with a goal of reduced workload and increased accuracy.

The K-MAX is a rather unique looking aircraft with twin intermeshed rotors that carries a decent load externally. It has been developed for use in logging and cargo operations.

The Army and Marine Corps are also looking at using unmanned ground vehicles to provide supply in combat areas. These include a range of vehicles from ones that accompany troops to carry their gear to bigger systems that would replace the current manned trucks carrying large amounts of fuel and cargo. This kind of technology has the potential to free up troops from these missions as well as provide a way to transfer cargo safely.

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Navy Awards Contract to Lockheed for Expanded UAV Role

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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Lockheed Martin Submits Proposal for Cargo UAS Services Request — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Submits Proposal for Cargo UAS Services Request

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation (Nasdaq: KAMN), have formally offered the K-MAX® unmanned helicopter in response to a U.S. Naval Air Systems Command request for a cargo unmanned aircraft system.

Earlier this year, the unmanned K-MAX system successfully demonstrated its ability to resupply troops in a simulated environment similar to forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Under a contract with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and Kaman successfully flew the unmanned K-MAX at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, meeting or exceeding the requirements that were set.

“The aircraft offers significantly reduced operational and logistics costs compared to transporting cargo by convoy or manned helicopter,” said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin Aviation Systems vice president. “We’ve paired Lockheed Martin’s mission management system with the proven rugged K-MAX airframe to give Marines the lift and reliability they need in theater. More importantly, it keeps them out of harm’s way.”

During the Dugway flights, the unmanned K-MAX demonstrated its ability to hover at 12,000 feet with a 1,500-pound sling load, deliver 3,000 pounds of cargo well within the six-hour required timeframe in two 150 nm round-trip flights, fly remotely controlled, perform a precision load delivery by a ground-based operator in either day or night conditions and upload a new mission plan to the aircraft’s mission management system during flight.

The team also showcased the unmanned K-MAX helicopter’s four-hook carousel, which enables multi-load deliveries in a single flight. The aircraft flew to three pre-programmed delivery coordinates loaded up with 3,450 pounds of cargo, and released a sling load autonomously at each location. At the Marine’s request, the fourth load delivery was performed under manual control by the ground operator.

This demonstrated capability exceeds all of the performance requirements detailed in the request. Lockheed Martin has teamed with Kaman to offer a proven solution.

Kaman has also performed a cargo airdrop demonstration in partnership with the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center this past April.

“Airdropping cargo as an option to placing a sling load on the ground can enhance an unmanned aircraft’s survivability while delivering critical supplies in combat environments,” said Terry Fogarty, Kaman Unmanned Systems general manager.

The manned version of the K-MAX has accumulated more than 255,000 flight hours in the commercial logging and firefighting industry. Recently, the aircraft moved 2.5 million pounds of boulders in just over 40 hours at 10,000 feet altitude. Kaman designed the K-MAX helicopter to deliver sling loads up to 6,000 pounds at sea level, and 4,300 pounds at 15,000 feet. Lockheed Martin’s mission management and control systems give the K-MAX helicopter unparalleled flight autonomy in remote environments and over large distances. The team has flown the K-MAX nearly 400 hours in unmanned mode since joining forces in 2007.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 133,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.0 billion.

Kaman Helicopters is a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation (Nasdaq: KAMN). Founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets. The company produces and/or markets widely used proprietary aircraft bearings and components; complex metallic and composite aerostructures for commercial, military and general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft; safing and arming solutions for missile and bomb systems for the U.S. and allied militaries; subcontract helicopter work; and support for the company’s SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopters and K-MAX medium-to-heavy lift helicopters. The company is also a leading distributor of industrial parts, and operates more than 200 customer service centers and five distribution centers across North America.

For additional information, visit our web sites:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ms2

http://www.kaman.com

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

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Kaman Acquires Allied Bearings Supply — Press Release

Kaman Acquires Allied Bearings Supply

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Kaman Corporation (NASDAQ:KAMN) today announced that its subsidiary, Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation (KIT), has completed the previously announced acquisition of Allied Bearings Supply Company (Allied) of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The transaction closed earlier today, and Allied is now part of Kaman’s Industrial Distribution Segment. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Allied, founded in 1934, is a distributor of bearings, power transmission, material handling, and industrial supplies to such diverse markets as the oil, gas, refinery, drilling equipment, steel, cement, paper, and food industries. In addition to Tulsa, the company also has branches in Oklahoma City, Pryor, Ponca City, Ardmore and, Muskogee, Oklahoma; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Houston, Texas. The company had annual sales of approximately $22 million in the fiscal year ended October 31, 2009.

KIT is the third largest distributor of power transmission and motion control products in North America. The company operates nearly 200 branches, distribution centers and customer service centers across the U. S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. It offers approximately three million items as well as value-added services to a base of about 50,000 customers representing a highly diversified cross section of North American industry. Kaman Corporation, founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets.

Source: Kaman Corporation

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Australian government cancels the SH-2 contract

In 1997 Australia decided to buy 11 upgraded SH-2 aircraft from Kaman to outfit their Navy. Unfortunately the work required to integrate the helicopters with the newer generation of equipment that the Navy possessed was harder and more complicated then originally thought. Imagine that? Anyway ten years and millions of dollars later the program is still not complete. According to this article the new liberal government has decided to axe the contract. There will obviously be some termination costs involved, and now they are back to square one on the aircraft. Perhaps they will look at the US Navy’s MH-60?

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