skip to main content

Modern Day Marine 2024: Kaman's Kargo enters flight-testing

The first Kaman Kargo in flight-testing at an undisclosed Pennsylvania site. (Kaman)

Kaman's Kargo medium-lift unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been in flight-testing since December 2023, the company's general manager, Romin Dasmalchi, told Janes in advance of Modern Day Marine on 24 April.

The UAV first flew while tethered to the ground for safety reasons. The tether has since been removed, Dasmalchi said, and the first Kargo is free-flying at an undisclosed UAV testing site in Pennsylvania.

Following a flight, Dasmalchi said, “You would make an adjustment – call it a tuning adjustment – and then you fly it for a short period. You give it some inputs manually to see how it handles, then you land and you make adjustments. We probably did hundreds of those evolutions.” The Kargo might undergo 20 to 30 flights per day.

As of 26 April the first Kargo craft had accrued around 50 hours of flight time, Dasmalchi said, and hundreds of ignitions of its Rolls-Royce RR300 engine. Aside from changes to antenna placement, Dasmalchi anticipated no major changes to Kargos in production based on the results of flight-testing to date.

“We're off the tether, we're looking to do some forward-flight work in the coming days,” said Dasmalchi. “Immediately after that we roll into [Concept of Operations] rehearsals”, including envelope expansion with dummy payloads aboard. Testing is set to be complete by July, when Kaman will deliver the craft to the US Marine Corps (USMC) for testing at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...