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U.S. Army to expand JLTV airdrop capabilities

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on

The U.S. Army has plans to expand airdrop capabilities of its newest Joint Light Tactical Vehicles or JLTV.

The current C-17 aircraft capability enables delivery of up to eight HMMWVs on a single aircraft, but due to the larger size and weight of the JLTV, it is currently limited to two vehicles per C-17 using the conventional Low Velocity Airdrop System (LVADS) capability which comprises parachute extracted airdrop from the airdrop rail/lock system using a standard, 24-foot, Type V airdrop platform.

The Army is looking for contractors to develop a new airdrop system that would allow delivery of up to four JLTVs on a single aircraft, according to a recently published request for information.

Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC) is executing a three-year, US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) funded project to develop an increased JLTV C-17 Gravity Airdrop System (GADS) capability that will enable airdrop of four JLTVs per C-17 transport plane.

There are two different approaches being considered to achieve the increased JLTV C-17 GADS capability.

The first approach involves an increase to the current DRAS
capability to enable the larger and heavier JLTV to be gravity airdropped using the side-by-side logistics rails.

The second approach involves using the conventional airdrop rail system to gravity airdrop the JLTV on a platform that is shorter than the 24-foot, Type V platform used for current LVADS of the JLTV, allowing more JLTV’s to be airdropped per C-17 aircraft.

Photo by Jim Finney

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