According to Cote, given the success American forces have had with the JPAD
system, other nations, including Canada, are becoming interested in the technology.
So while goods occasionally do need to be delivered with the precision only a VTOL aircraft can attain, LCLA is able to cheaply provide the accuracy required for the vast majority of supplies while JPADS has recently improved its accuracy providing pinpoint delivery at a higher price if this trade off is desired by the user.
Right now, there are more than a hundred JPADS 2K systems in theater," Benney said.
To improve JPADS for use in Afghanistan, a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement has been submitted to request software upgrades that will better negotiate complex contours and improve airdrops by reducing delivery errors to within 25 meters of their targets.
In short, to meet pressing and growing operational requirements for conducting very low-altitude operations and to accomplish their combat missions in theater, our commanders required LCLA to fill a capability gap that JPADS and other airdrop systems are simply not designed to fill.
When it was said to make this concept of JPADS a reality and we became Air Mobility Command's lead on this project, we started work right away," said Maj.
JPADS uses a global positioning system, steerable parachutes, and an onboard computer to guide loads to a designated point on a drop zone.
27) The JPADS diminishes the enemy's opportunity to inflict casualties.
The improved JPADS dramatically decreases this risk for the aircrews and aircraft.
The Joint Requirements Oversight Council recognized the importance of the program by ranking JPADS as its second highest priority for fiscal year 2004 technology demonstrations.
Despite its relative accuracy (for a high-altitude drop), the Jpads still requires a considerable area of cleared ground, which in Afghanistan may be anything up to 100 km from the unit collecting the bundles.
A JPADS component, the JPADS Mission Planner (JPADS-MP), was first used in Afghanistan last summer.