AFRL, Air Force Special Ops Test Munition Airdrops

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Air Force Special Operations Command have partnered to develop and demonstrate airdrops of palletized munitions. The early test demonstrated the delivery of air-launched weapons in large amounts, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said Wednesday.

A Lockheed Martin-made MC-130J tanker aircraft performed the airdrop tests at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. A roller system deployed combat expendable platforms or wooden pallets that contained the simulated munitions.

The simulated munitions weighed the same as their actual weapon counterparts such as the Extended-Range Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles or CLEAVERs. AFSOC plans to demonstrate airdrops with glider, powered and full-up vehicles in the future.

“CLEAVER represents a different approach to launching large numbers of long-range weapons, which will bring a new dynamic to the high-end fight," said Col. Garry Haase, who leads AFRL’s Munitions Directorate.

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