JPADS Brings New Sustainment Capability to Future Fight

U.S. Army soldiers from the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, rig a load during Project Convergence 22. The crew was preparing a package for the Joint Precision Air Drop System (JPADS). (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Monyae Alexander)

The Joint Precision Air Drop System (JPADS) is one of more than 250 weapons systems being experimented with during Project Convergence 2022 (PC22). PC22 is bringing together members of all U.S. military branches and multinational partners to experiment with the effectiveness and interoperability of cutting-edge weapons and battle systems in October and November at multiple locations on the West Coast of the United States.

JPADS is a military airdrop capability to resupply warfighters on the frontline in areas incapable of using global positioning systems. It enables troops to sustain themselves in areas where they are unable to use GPS to locate a supply package.

“The JPADS is a state-of-the-art technology that is commonly seen in self-driving cars or UAVs for their vision navigation,” said Ryan Buckley, a senior systems engineer at U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. “But a full autonomous warfare air drop system has not really been seen before.” This technology allows warfighters in hard-to-reach areas to locate the package in real time using cameras and anti-jam technology, Buckley said.

“Since the JPADS adds this extra capability to a mission, this means we are capable of overmatching enemies in any terrain,” said Guoquan Liang, a mechanical engineer at U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. “This also makes warfighters more lethal and more capable to do their mission.”

Liang explained how the JPADS adds a factor of versatility into the mission as well. The warfighter can receive packages as small as an MRE, or a large piece of equipment. It also allows the warfighter to obtain the packages faster in more difficult terrain.