The Kaman K-MAX (company designation K-1200) is an American helicopter with intermeshing rotors(synchropter) by Kaman Aircraft. It is optimized for external cargo load operations, and is able to lift a payload of over 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg), which is more than the helicopter's empty weight. An unmanned aerial vehicle version with optional remote controlled has been developed and evaluated in extended practical service in the war in Afghanistan.
The K-1200 K-MAX "aerial truck" is the world's first helicopter specifically designed, tested, and certified for repetitive external lift operations and vertical reference flight (Kaman received IFR Certification in 1999), an important feature for external load work. Other rotorcraft used for these tasks are adapted from general-purpose helicopters, or those intended to primarily carry passengers or internal cargo. The K-MAX can lift almost twice as much as the Bell 205 using a different version of the same engine. The aircraft's narrow, wedge-shaped profile and bulging side windows give the pilot a good view of the load looking out from either side of the aircraft.
Kaman had been developing the Unmanned K-MAX since 1998. In March 2007, Kaman and Lockheed Martin (Team K-MAX) signed a Strategic Relationship Agreement (SRA) to pursue U.S. DoD opportunities. An unmanned mostly autonomously flying, optionally remote controlled and optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) version, the K-MAX Unmanned Multi-Mission Helicopter was developed for hazardous missions. It can be used in combat to deliver supplies to the battlefield, as well as civilian situations involving chemical, biological, or radiological hazards.