Unmanned K-Max crashes in Afghanistan

Washington DC
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An unmanned Lockheed Martin K-Max helicopter crashed near Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 5 June.

One of only two aircraft in theater, the helicopter, operating in unmanned mode, was nearing the end of its resupply flight when something went wrong, according to reports.

"We are working with the Marine Corps to determine the root cause of this mishap," says Lockheed. The company deferred further comment to the US Marine Corps.

No people were injured in the crash. An investigation is ongoing.

Two unmanned K-Max helicopters have been flying in Afghanistan for nearly two years on what began as a six-month deployment. Despite interest in expanding the programme, the only the two aircraft are operating on a contract basis, plus another for testing in the US. The programme's future after pullout from Afghanistan is unclear.

The Marine Corps did not respond to immediate questions.