Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Shane N. Hall, PhD


Given the variety of airdrop options now available, it may be difficult to determine the best mix of paradrop and aircraft types to employ, how the chosen types affect delivery weight capacity and what the least cost would be for the operation while still accomplishing the mission regarding drop zone weight, altitude, offset, and accuracy requirements. This research creates a planning tool to analyze these decisions and also identify trends regarding the best aircraft and paradrop types to use considering cost and capability in a strategic rather than tactical setting. This is accomplished through the formulation of a linear program implemented as a spreadsheet model for several different scenarios. This research indicates that new high-altitude precision airdrop (HAPAD) systems will make conventional airdrop obsolete due to both cost and performance and that C-5 aircraft, if used, have the potential to dramatically increase airdrop capacity at competitive cost, particularly when using 30,000 lb HAPAD. Also, regarding cost, this research suggests airdrop system design life needs to match life expectancy and that all relevant costs must be included to make an accurate comparison with alternative resupply methods.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number