US Testing New Airdrop System

28 February 2010 (Last Updated February 28th, 2010 18:30)

The US Army is testing a new airdrop system, which will be ready for deployment to Afghanistan later in the year, according to the army G-4 deputy chief of staff Lieutenant General Mitchell H Stevenson. The new airdrop system, the freedrop delivery system, will allow up to 150lb of suppl

The US Army is testing a new airdrop system, which will be ready for deployment to Afghanistan later in the year, according to the army G-4 deputy chief of staff Lieutenant General Mitchell H Stevenson.

The new airdrop system, the freedrop delivery system, will allow up to 150lb of supplies including ammunition, small generators and other class IX repair parts to be freedropped at about 70kt airspeed from under 75ft above ground level.

Stevenson said the idea was to develop a package that you just kicked out the side of a helicopter or airplane when you're flying at very low altitude.

"You eliminate the problem of packing, rigging the chute and of course doing any kind of recovery operation," he said.

Developed and tested by the army G-4's Logistics Innovation Agency, the freedrop system will be used at 19 Afghanistan outposts which can only receive supplies by air.

The US Air Force operating in Afghanistan currently uses the joint precision airdrop system (JPADS), which can drop supplies from 5,000ft to 25,000ft using parachutes and direct the package by an autonomous guidance unit to the landing site.