U.S. Army evaluates new ATAX airdrop system

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Soldier Center recently conducted an evaluation airdrop of the new ATAX system.

IrvinGQ (formally Airborne Systems Europe) has announced that the DEVCOM Soldier Center in conjunction with Yuma Proving Ground support staff and an Air National Guard C-130 conducted the third evaluation airdrop of their ATAX Land airdrop system, giving the Department of Defence (DoD) a first-hand opportunity to recognize the benefits that ATAX can offer the warfighter.

According to the company, the ATAX is a patented modular, multi-functional rapid-rig & de-rig land (and marine) airdrop system that offers a significantly enhanced airdrop capability, over current systems.

The reusable airbags offer significant advantages over traditional methods. They reduce load preparation and rigging times by eliminating consumable rigging materials, significantly reduce shock forces imparted into the cargo and facilitate a true drive-on drive-off capability.

Standard modules are 8ft long and 108in wide and up to four modules can be connected to form a 32ft platform designed to accommodate all up masses ranging from 1,143kg (2,520lb) to 19,051kg (42,000lb) for land airdrops.

DEVCOM Soldier Center and IrvinGQ are working together under a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) and sharing data with numerous Allied Nations. “The ATAX is a candidate in the current program-of-record (POR) known as RRDAS (Rapid Rigging Derigging Airdrop System) being executed by US Army Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (PM FSS)” according to Richard Benney, Director of the Soldier Sustainment Directorate at the Soldier Center. Mr. Benney added that “the final system selected under the RRDAS POR is expected to be utilized to demonstrate the delivery of unmanned ground vehicles which is a program sponsored by US Transportation Command starting in DoD Fiscal Year 22.”

Further US-owned ATAX systems, funded through a Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) program office, are planned to be airdropped again in early 2021 with the extracted mass and number of platform modules being linked increasing.

Source: Defence blog

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