The Lockheed Martin/Kaman unmanned K-Max has made its first operational flights in Afghanistan, resupplying US Marine Corps troops with cargo."We have successfully flown an unmanned mission with cargo, resupplying Marines," said Lockheed. "The aircraft is operational, resupplying troops. We're flying missions with loads." Neither Lockheed nor the Navy would specify operating locations beyond the Central Command area of operations, but southern and central Afghanistan host the only large-scale Marine ground deployments in the region.The aircraft are deployed on an evaluation basis. Afghanistan has served as an advanced testing ground for a substantial number of developmental systems, including a Navy deployment of the unmanned Northrop Grumman MQ-8B for reconnaissance missions. A similar system, the Boeing A160 will deploy to the area in 2012.Unlike the Northrop and Boeing offerings, Lockheed/Kaman's aircraft will be used exclusively for resupply missions to remote forward operating bases (FOB) and combat outposts (COP). Resupply is among the most hazardous and expensive of the routine missions performed by US forces and private contractors, and demand for aerial resupply is high.