UK to Purchase Vehicle Airdrop Systems for A400M ‘Atlas’ Aircraft

The UK Ministry of Defence has issued a £50 million ($69 million) tender for a Medium Weight Aerial Delivery (MWAD) system to airdrop equipment and vehicles from A400M “Atlas” transport aircraft.

The notice specifies that the system should be able to safely drop 16,000 kgs (35,274 pounds) of payload into drop-zones and include a platform, parachutes, and ancillary equipment “to enable their extraction” from the Airbus aircraft.

“Requirements also include (but are not limited to) spares provisioning, level 4 contractor repairs, Design Organisation and/or Coordinating Design Organisation responsibilities, initial training, technical documentation management, and Post Design Services,” the notice states.

Compatible With Aircraft

The notice stipulates that 40 MWAD systems of up to 32 feet (9.7 meters) in length should be delivered by 22 Jul 2031.

“The duration of the contract shall include a manufacture and transition phase followed by a 7 (seven) year support phase from Initial Operating Capability (IOC) (plus Options to extend by an additional 3 years),” the notice stipulates.

Following a “bidder’s conference” in December 2021, system ground trials are expected between late 2022 and early 2023. It will be followed by the announcement of a contract in mid-2023, and the declaration of Initial Operating Capability in 2024, the notice revealed.

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