Hugh Pickens writes writes "Pakistan is still blockading NATO war supplies passing through the port of Karachi in response to last month's killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by an alliance air strike. But inside Afghanistan, supply lines are about to get a lot safer for NATO's logisticians as an unmanned helicopter just delivered a sling-load of beans, bullets, and band-aids to Marines at an undisclosed base in Afghanistan marking the first time a drone has been used to resupply a unit at war. The 2.5-ton, GPS-guided K-MAX can heft 3.5 tons of cargo about 250 miles up and over the rugged and mountainous terrain of Afghanistan across which NATO troops are scattered and can fly around the clock. 'Most of the [K-MAX] missions will be conducted at night and at higher altitudes,' says Marine Capt. Caleb Joiner, a K-MAX operator. 'This will allow us to keep out of small-arms range.' K-MAX will soon be joined in Afghanistan by Lockheed's robo jeep that can carry a half a ton of supplies for up to 125 miles after being delivered to the field in a CH-47 or CH-53 helo."
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