The Kaman K-MAX programme has been given a much-needed boost with a US Department of State-funded order for five helicopters for use by the Peruvian national police for counter-narcotic operations, marking the first law enforcement application of the single-seat machine.


Kaman will deliver the five K-MAXs in March and April to the State Department's aviation wing, after which the helicopters will be operated and maintained by the Peruvian police. The five machines have already been built and were awaiting a buyer at Kaman's Bloomfield, Connecticut, plant.

The US government has allocated aid of $30 million for the Peruvian helicopter programme, of which $21 million will cover the cost of the five K-MAXs. Kaman is expecting to be awarded a second smaller contract covering logistics and training support for Peru over the next four years.

Peru plans to use the five helicopters to transport supplies in mountainous hot-and-high and hot-and-low jungle environments.

Neighbouring Colombia was recently granted $1.3 billion in US State Department aid including 16 Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawks, 33 Bell UH-1Ns and 42 more upgraded UH-1H Huey 2 helicopters for police and army use, and the equipping of air force aircraft to track smugglers.

Production of the intermeshing rotor configured K-MAX helicopter now totals 36 and includes a single machine operated by Aeromaster for oil rig support in Ecuador. Kaman is understood to have another new order for up to four helicopters pending.

Source: Flight International