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.