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Kaman Corporation has announced it is ceasing production of the K-Max, as part of a wider restructuring and cost-cutting effort throughout the company.
“The company determined that given low demand and variation in annual deliveries, coupled with low profitability and large working capital inventory requirements, K-Max does not deliver the most compelling growth opportunity for Kaman going forward,” a statement from Kaman announcing the restructuring efforts said. “As such, Kaman will discontinue K-Max and K-Max Titan production this year.”
Kaman said it will continue to support the existing K-Max fleet in operation, including providing operators with repair, spare parts, and fleet services as well as training.
Development of the heavy-lift single-seat utility aircraft, with its distinctive slender design and intermeshing counter-rotating main rotor blades, was led by Kaman founder and former CEO Charles Kaman, and it received type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1994.
The manufacturer delivered 35 aircraft during its first production run, which ceased in 2003. But following renewed industry interest — and the hugely successful deployment of two unmanned K-MAX aircraft, developed with Lockheed Martin, in support of the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan — Kaman announced it was restarting production of the aircraft in 2015.