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Player Avatar useless33 (63.69) Submitted: 1/29/2009 1:17:09 PM : Outperform Start Price: $18.28 KAMN Score: +17.72

Kaman has a stable of mainstay aerospace products sourced in numerous DOD aircraft programs of record. In addition, their K-MAX lift helicopter fills a niche nobody else can fill with present products. R&D costs from any competitor pose a reasonably barrier to entry, and the product itself is superior to anything else. -An optionally manned aerial truck capable of resupplying far-flung outposts under difficult conditions. Who could need that?

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Member Avatar A6EIntruder (< 20) Submitted: 9/15/2009 1:03:23 AM
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Kaman's Seasprite line has had a successful career with the US Navy, and the SH-2G+ has been delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. The KMAX, as you point out, is a neat, and niche, market player. However, orders and deliveries are quite low--this is a market that could take off, but given the state of aviation financing, don't expect it to be any time soon.

The KMAX is not 'optionally manned'--there is no certified unmanned version available. KMAX's intermeshing rotors (an approach novel to Kaman in the West) provide superior lift-to-weight ratio.

KAMN also owns Ovation guitars and a drum/cymbal maker (Symbian, I believe). Not sure what this says about a product line in what was otherwise a basic A&D contractor. I don't really see the connection, other than that Ovation has a solid reputation for composite-backed electro-acoustic guitars and does well in the marketplace.

Member Avatar useless33 (63.69) Submitted: 9/21/2009 10:06:58 AM
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"Team K-MAX is comprised of Kaman and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News). Kaman will award a subcontract to Lockheed Martin to integrate a beyond line of sight data link and unmanned aerial system (UAS) mission management system with Kaman's proven aerial truck, the K-MAX.
The team will demonstrate the unmanned helicopter's capability to deliver cargo a round trip distance of 150 nautical miles. The Marine Corps objective is to move 20,000 pounds in a 24 hour period. The demonstration is scheduled for late 2009.
This demonstration arises from the Marine Corps Systems Command's requirement for a cargo UAS that can support rapid deployments to Afghanistan by resupplying troops with provisions and materials at forward operating bases.
"The demonstration of the Unmanned K-MAX for the Marine Corps is an important step for the program," said Neal J. Keating, Chairman, president and chief executive officer, Kaman Corporation. "We believe the aircraft is uniquely qualified for the resupply mission to take our troops off the roads and pilots out of the air in Afghanistan."

K-max is competing with the A-160. The remotely-piloted test has been completed, and the initial results were positive. It may or may not get selected, but if it does, I see significant upside potential, while the fuzing and subsystem industry (namely K-flex couplings) are a reasonably reliable business.

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