DragonFly JPADS 10K enters full-rate production
Airborne Systems’ DragonFly Joint Precision Aerial Delivery System (JPADS) 10,000 lb (10K) has entered full-rate production for the US Army, with the first 243 type classified systems scheduled for delivery by April 2013. This is the second type JPADS system to fielded by the US Department of Defense.
DragonFly was selected by the US Army for its JPADS 10K programme to fill the requirement for fully autonomous cargo delivery systems able to carry payloads up to 10,000 lbs. The system employs Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and an advanced guidance navigation and control algorithm to accurately fly, drop and deliver cargo from the air, in varying payload dimensions, to targeted ground locations.
The company’s FireFly system was previously selected for the JPADS 2,000 lb. (2K) programme in May 2007. Both systems are capable of deployment at 25,000 ft. and can land within 150 meters (250 meters for the JPADS 10K) of the designated impact point, keeping the deploying air crew safe while reducing the vulnerability of ground troops receiving the cargo. Both platforms operate with a common algorithm, user interface and mission planner, and the commonality of components reduces material cost and simplifies training requirements.
Aaron Mebust, JPADS program manager for airborne systems, said: ‘This capability expands on the type classified JPADS 2K system that is capable of carrying 2,000 lb. payloads via Container Delivery System (CDS). Unlike the 2K, the 10K system can also be used with the Type V airdrop platform which can accommodate vehicles and artillery pieces, and has the potential to deliver generators, shelters and other unevenly shaped items.
‘Having the ability to rapidly respond to varying supply requirements and deliver materials to remote locations accurately and safely makes it possible for our military forces to react quickly to mission changes. Airborne Systems is proud to have yet another product selected as system of choice for the US Department of Defense. In reaching the fielding milestone, the JPADS 10K will now give the US Army an additional tool to support military efforts in theatre,’ he added.
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