QinetiQ North America announced today that its Planning Systems Inc (PSI) subsidiary has received a $1.7 million award from the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the UK for five of its Precision Airdrop Systems (PADS™) to be used in RAF C-130J aircraft. The award also covers aircrew training, spares, and one year of logistics support and services.
Developed jointly with the US Air Force and the US Army over the past decade, PADS has been engineered to meet the requirements of high altitude parachute cargo delivery while also protecting aircrew from ground threats. The system uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to measure winds near the drop zone and, for guided systems, to steer a cargo pallet to its intended destination.
In addition to removing the aircrew from the threat envelope, PADS enables accurate delivery of supplies from high altitudes to minimise time and distance issues associated with the retrieval of pallets by ground forces. The RAF initially intends to use PADS for unguided loads after extensive trials demonstrated a significant improvement in delivery accuracy from high altitudes.
PADS was first used successfully by the US Air Force to re-supply troops in Afghanistan in August 2006. Since then PADS has been used in over 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan for delivery of more than five million pounds of cargo.
Alan J Friedman, PSI’s President and CEO, said he is delighted the PADS product will be used by an allied air force. “PADS has become an important and established force multiplier for the US Air Force. I’m proud the RAF selected PADS and am confident it will prove equally successful in operations with RAF C 130J aircraft.”