Death Delivery from Above!

Via John at Castle Arrggghhh, here’s a Youtube about air-dropping supplies to a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan, and how GPS technology has made airdropping supplies easier and more feasible.


Yes, that’s the RAF, and they’re resupplying the British Army (ever wonder why it’s “the Royal Navy” and the “Royal Air Force” but not the “Royal Army?”) but the basics apply to US forces as well, with a couple of caveats.

First, the RAF has a serious shortage of Chinook helicopters. They’ve recently signed contracts to buy more, but they’ll be short of helos for a while. With fewer helicopters to move heavy loads, they have to either move supplies by road, or air-drop them. For many missions that the RAF might air-drop supplies, US forces would simply use Chinooks.

The second is that even this isn’t the cutting edge on using GPS to improve drop accuracy. The comment at The Castle points to MMIST, a supplier of air-drop accessories. And while the video seems to show their Low Cost Aerial Delivery system, they also sell GPS guided para-delivery systems. In fact, almost as soon as the Army realized that GPS could be used for more than just pinpointing your location, they started development of a system to guide air-drops using modern airfoil parachutes tied to a GPS system.

2 thoughts on “Death Delivery from Above!”

  1. ever wonder why it’s “the Royal Navy” and the “Royal Air Force” but not the “Royal Army?”

    Because the regiments of the British Army trace to the New Model Army of Cromwell which defeated the Royalist Army.

    The Royal Navy, like the USArmy, was reconciled after the various revolutions, the RAF formed after the factional difficulties, but the regiments of the old royal army of England and Ireland were in the pre-Napoleonic French Army because they went with the Pretender into exile.

    I believe the Scottish regiments were until very recently distinct, and therefore not under the Royal command of the King of England, but under the command of the king’s person as King of Scotland- so not Royal, but allied, like the King’s Germans during Waterloo.

    I wouldn’t quote me but that is what I remember from long ago.

  2. PJ, very interesting. Of course, trying to understand how the British Army is organized is something of an exercise in producing headaches. And keeping track of units, what with the amalgamations and what not, is a pain all its own.

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