Once operational, military officials expect unmanned vehicles to greatly reduce costs of training and maintenance, and more importantly, to decrease fatalities for military service members.
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Automation: The Future of Military Aviation


The military is marching forward into the future by increasing the use of unmanned military vehicles. Once operational, military officials expect unmanned vehicles to greatly reduce costs of training and maintenance, and more importantly, to decrease fatalities for military service members, especially those serving in overseas operations.

Helicopters have been added to the list of unmanned vehicles under review as the Navy considers integrating the K-MAX unmanned helicopter to its fleet. Helicopters are the latest vehicles adding to the trend towards automation, as a growing list of military unmanned ground and aerial vehicles are being developed for use in dangerous locations worldwide.


The K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopter is an addition to the Naval force, created through direct request from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command.

The K-MAX, a state-of-the-art helicopter developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Kaman Aerospace Corp, is an unmanned cargo helicopter that can be used to re-supply American troops in combat zones, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopter has been tested with the U.S. Marine Corps' War fighting Laboratory. According to representatives from Lockheed Martin, the initial testing phase of the K-MAX aircraft was successful.


There are many advantages to operating unmanned vehicles in the military, however the main focus is on keeping military personnel out of harm's way by remotely operating vehicles headed for danger zones.

The U.S. military has yet to finalize approval, costs, or usage for the K-MAX unmanned aircraft. However, it is a sign toward approval that several aerospace and defense companies are in the process of developing unmanned helicopters for future use by militaries around the world, including the A160T Hummingbird aircraft created by Boeing Co.



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