Survivability Versus Mission Effectiveness -The Need for Precision Air Delivery 985586
For over 50 years the airdrop of personnel, supplies, and equipment has been a critical capability for the successful deployment and resupply of ground combat forces. Over the years, airdrop operations have been expanded to include additional missions, many of which involve operation in a hostile environment. While the operating environment has changed significantly, the equipment and procedures utilized to carry out the mission have not evolved as rapidly. Changes in tactics to increase survivability combined with outdated equipment and procedures have significantly reduced the accuracy and therefore the effectiveness of the airdrop mission. Several studies have been performed to evaluate error sources and to recommend technologies and procedural improvements for airdrop missions that are safe, survivable, and effective. This paper will provide a discussion of current airdrop procedures, and present technologies and procedures that are currently being evaluated to achieve precision air delivery in a hostile environment.