RAF orders PADS

Qinetiq North America’s Planning Systems subsidiary has received $1.7m from the Royal Air Force for five Precision Airdrop Systems (PADS).


Qinetiq North America’s Planning Systems (PSI) subsidiary has received $1.7m from the Royal Air Force (RAF) for five Precision Airdrop Systems (PADS) to be used in C-130J aircraft.



The agreement between PSI and the RAF also covers aircrew training, spares, and one year of logistics support and services.



Developed jointly with the US Air Force and the US Army, PADS enables aircrews to deliver cargo from high altitude at increased standoff distances and greater precision than is possible using conventional methods.



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.



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.