Information Papers

Joint Precision Airdrop Systems

What is it?
JPADS family will increase the accuracy of aerial delivery cargo operations, employ the use of smaller drop zones (DZs), enhance aircraft survivability, provide delivery to multiple objectives and drop-zones from one release point, deliver supplies and equipment in unit sets, and compensate for aircraft release point errors. Likewise, JPADS can also hit a single DZ from multiple release points

JPADS is an Army-lead program consisting of a decelerator (parachute) guided by an Autonomous Guidance Unit (AGU) attached to a container delivery system (CDS) that interfaces with all cargo aircraft. JPADS is most effectively used in conjunction with the JPADS Mission Planner (JPADS-MP) program.

JPADS is a Program of Record. Approval was received from the Joint Capabilities Board in January 2007 and is managed by the Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems under the PEO CS/CSS. It consists of several variants, some to be developed, based on gross rigged weight:

What has the Army done?
The JPADS program started as an Army effort and has evolved into a joint program with Army as the lead service. To date, 2K JPADS prototype systems have been fielded to meet theater requirements that were requested through Urgent of Need Statements. In MAR 07, a $3 M contract was awarded to Paraflite from New Jersey and the Firefly 2K JPADS in order to proceed with System Development and Demonstration. The 2K JPADS system will continue forward toward full development and production (Milestone C); with fielding of final products planned for FY09. Department of the Army G4 participated in the Precision Airdrop Technology Conference and Demonstration conducted at Yuma Proving Ground in FEB 08.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Additional prototype systems will be fielded in support of operations in the AOR in FY08 if and when the requested supplemental funding is approved. The Program Manager will move forward with system development and demonstration and take steps to procure additional prototype systems to meet the current and planned increasing requirements established in the AOR. The plan is on track for additional prototype systems in FY08 and to have mature systems in FY09.

Why is this important to the Army?
? JPADS continues to be used in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and has saved soldiers lives offsetting ground convoy requirements and reducing rotary wing sorties intended for airdrop operations by airdropping over 1.8 million pounds of sustainment cargo during AUG 06 through DEC 07.

JPADS is a system that has utility not only in the current GWOT but well into the future to meet distribution requirements to the employed warfighter. As such, the source selection committee is seeking to select the system that best meets the needs of the Warfighter as stated in the Capabilities Development Document. The system chosen will properly balance performance, sustainability, cost, safety, and risk in consideration for fielding this required capability.

Mr. Jack Welch (703) 614-4052