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Kaman Kargo UAV full-scale test expected in second half of 2022

A rendering of the Kaman Kargo UAV for the US Marines. (Kaman)

Aerospace company Kaman said it is on track to fly a full-scale model of its Kargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the latter half of third quarter.

Kaman flew a half-size model in June 2021 to test the new drivetrain designed for the UAV. The transmission for the full-size model is in manufacturing and will be delivered to Kaman “very soon“, Romin Dasmalchi, Kaman's senior director of government relations, told Janes during the Modern Day Marine 2022 conference in Washington, DC on 10 May.

The quadcopter UAV is being built to fly over 500 n miles with a max speed of 121 kt and carry up to 800 lb of cargo depending on the desired range. Payload options include a supply pod, medical pod, and an external slingload. The UAV fits into a standard-size cargo container and Kaman says that it can be taken out of storage and be flight-ready in “minutes”.

The company is showcasing its UAV technology for the US Marine Corps (USMC) conference as the service shifts its focus to operations in the Pacific as part of its Force Design 2030 modernisation plan.

“We see a lot of saturation in the small UAS [unmanned aerial systems] market,” Dasmalchi said. “Reality is though, if you want to sustain forces in combat, you need to move thousands of pounds in a day.”

President and CEO Ian Walsh said Kaman has received “direct discussion interest” in the Kargo UAV from an international customer but would not elaborate.

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