Boeing company Tapestry Solutions has secured a contract to develop advanced mission planning software for airdrop missions for the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-17 and C-130 military transport aircraft.

The mission planning enterprise contract II (MPEC II) delivery order for advanced airdrop mission planning software is valued at $26m.

Tapestry, Jacobs Engineering, and MORSE Corp will develop Consolidated Airdrop Tool (CAT) versions 6.x through 8.x.

Using CAT software, both conventional and precision airdrop solutions can be calculated and plotted in order to accurately deliver supplies to troops in remote, harsh environments.

The software can be upgraded to add a new intuitive interface that will allow the user to quickly perform airdrop tasks and provide greater automated in-flight planning capabilities.

Tapestry Solutions president and CEO Robin Wright said: “We’re pleased to leverage our mission planning expertise to enhance the computing speed, accuracy, efficiency and automation on-board the C-17 and C-130 aircraft.

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“The upgrades will reduce aircrew workload and prevent distractions from flight tasks, which will make our troops’ jobs easier and safer.”

The CAT works alongside the army’s joint precision airdrop system (JPADS), which is a high-altitude, all-weather capable system that includes a GPS-based cargo parachute system.

“The upgrades will reduce aircrew workload and prevent distractions from flight tasks, which will make our troops’ jobs easier and safer.”

JPADS allows cargo to hit a single designated drop zone from multiple release points, allowing aircraft to safely avoid enemy ground fire.

During airdrop missions, crewmembers run JPADS-CAT software on laptops, by gathering mission data required to plan the route of flight and increase cargo airdrop accuracy.

The software also runs aircraft performance and weather algorithms to determine acceptable air release points.

The team is also responsible for performing software maintenance services on all fielded software versions.