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Enhanced Container Delivery System

Improving airdrop accuracy and reducing costs are the goals of the Enhanced Container Delivery System (ECDS). The ECDS was initiated to improve existing Container Delivery Systems (CDS). The ECDS will be used to airdrop multiple supply containers (bundles) accurately from fixed wing cargo aircraft from 500 to 25,000 feet depending on the threat and environmental conditions. The ECDS is used to air resupply deployed Army U.S. and allied ground forces and may be used for Special Operation Forces.

ECDS provides the capability to air deliver multiple supply containers (weighing from 501 pounds up to 2,200 pounds) accurately from aircraft flying at low, medium, and high altitudes. Delivery altitudes are determined by the threat that delivery aircraft must counter. The ECDS is capable of 10,000 pounds per system and is not restricted to airdrop from 1100 feet above ground level, as are current CDS. ECDS will use a 463L compatible pallet that is forkliftable and slingloadable.

The ECDS improves the existing CDS. It uses a 463L-based platform that is easier to transport and rig. The ECDS can be moved by forklift and transported by various means. Capacity increases from the current 2,200 pounds to 10,000 pounds. Increasing the capacity reduces the number of bundles. This has a positive impact on accuracy at multiple altitudes. The disadvantage for ECDS is cost. One system's cost is estimated at $10,000, and the ECDS is not reusable based on the current design of 463L pallets.

A 13 January 2005 Sources Sought notice was posted to identify domestic products, suppliers, manufacturers, and technical information to develop an Enhanced Container Delivery System (ECDS) or system components that could be used for aerial delivery of preplanned and emergency supply loads for combat and support operations.With ECDS, multiple resupply containers, weighing up to 10,000 lbs. each, will be airdropped into the operational area via an aerial delivery aircraft. The ECDS developed under this effort, should enhance aircraft survivability, increase load capacity and airdrop accuracy and decrease the cost and labor associated with aerial delivery operations. The primary mission of ECDS is the delivery of various cargoes at a variety of altitudes (low, medium and high). Typical support missions for ECDS will include combat forced-entry and aerial resupply operations for small, medium and large unit/team and humanitarian/disaster relief supplies airdropped to surrounded or isolated populations.

The Enhanced Container Delivery System shall have the following capabilities: (1) Compatible with C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft logistical and airdrop restraint/rail systems; (2) Meet (threshold) or exceed (objective) identifiable ballistic characteristics of current airdrop systems for low velocity (28.5 fps) drops; (3) Capable of being deployed at a release altitude of 500 feet (threshold) above ground level (AGL) and at 375 feet AGL (objective) at current standard Cargo Delivery System (CDS) air speeds (130 to 150 KIAS) at maximum payload capacity; (4) Capable of delivering serviceable loads in 13 knot ground winds (threshold), 21 knot ground winds (objective); (5) Must be compatible with Army Materiel Handling Equipment (MHE), with United States Air Force (USAF) cargo aircraft and aerial port Cargo Materiel Handling Equipment (CMHE), forkliftable and sling-loadable. Furthermore, future ECDS upgrades may include drop zone compatibility with t he Palletized Loading System (PLS); (6) Provide a maximum rigged weight capacity of up to 10,000-lbs; (7) Utilize standard airdrop components to the maximum extent possible with new designs not requiring modification to the delivery aircraft or the restraint rail system; (8) Allow for the delivery of single or multiple pallets in a single pass over the drop zone; (9) Overall packing and rigging time, including aircraft rigging, not greater than time required for current comparable CDS loads with like capacities;

(10) Allow for the delivery of single mass and modular loads at the maximum rigged weight allowance; (11) Provide for de-rigging procedures that are no more complex than current CDS (threshold) and less complex (objective); (12) Compatible with stan dard combat off-load procedures of existing 463L palletized cargo; (13) Allow for appropriate in-flight load restraints; (14) Utilize current A-22 honeycomb configurations with no modifications (objective) and minimal adaptation (threshold); (15) System not to exceed current CDS maintainability requirements (threshold) and reduce current requirements (objective). Maintenance tasks to be performed by MOS 92R rigger personnel at organizational level; (16) System components to be reusable 12 times (threshold) and 25 times (objective); (17) Provide a probability of at least 92 percent (threshold) and greater than 92 percent (objective) of successful airdrop completion without a system abort and a probability of at least 85 percent (threshold) and greater than 85 percent (objective) of airdrop completion without the occurrence of an essential function failure; (18) Capable of gravity release at conventional airspeeds with the ability of future conversion/upgrade to parachute extraction method; (19) Capable of being operated and maintained by soldiers having fifth percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male profiles; (20) Capable of use and storage in all climat ic categories where CDS is currently being used. In addition, technical information concerning high altitude precision airdrops with ECDS as well as a low cost, one time use ECDS variant could be supplied for addressing future system requirements.

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