Tunner 60k

DRS Technologies has been awarded a contract to continue the provision of payload logistics support for the US Air Force’s (USAF) heavy-lift cargo aircraft worldwide.

Under the terms of $390m performance-based contract, DRS Sustainment Systems will provide depot-level overhaul, programme engineering support and parts management in support of the DRS Technologies Tunner 60K aircraft cargo loader/transporter.

DRS Sustainment Systems vice-president and general manager Joseph Matteoni said the success of the Tunner programme is a direct result of the company’s great working relationship with the air force.

"For well over 20 years, from initial system design and production to system overhaul and field support, DRS has kept the needs of the airmen in the field at the forefront," Matteoni said.

Airlifted by C-17 or C-5 aircraft, the Tunner 60K loader/transporter is a mobile vehicle system designed to provide rapid deployment and sustainment of forces supporting US security interests, humanitarian operations and disaster relief missions.

"A total of 318 Tunners were supplied by the company to USAF between 1997 and 2005."

Surface-shipped by rail or flatbed truck, the system has a payload capacity of 60,000lb of palletised or rolling-stock cargo, and can be easily reconfigured to work with a range of military and commercial cargo aircraft platforms, including the C-5, C-17, B-747, L-1011 and DC-10.

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A total of 318 Tunners were supplied by the company to USAF between 1997 and 2005, to help improve capabilities of its aerial ports across the globe.

Work under the contract is scheduled to be performed at the company’s maintenance facility in West Plains, Missouri, US, over the next ten-years.

The facility has to date been used for the overhaul of approximately 100 Tunner systems.

Image: US airmen load more than 56,000lb of cargo from three Tunner 60K loaders onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of USAF Airman 1st Class Jason Epley.

Defence Technology