Low-altitude parachute-extraction system

low-altitude parachute extraction system
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.wikipedia
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Airlift

strategic airlifttactical airliftstrategic airlifter
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.
However, when the area is too small for this method, as with an isolated base, and/or is too dangerous to land in, a Low-altitude parachute-extraction system drop is used.

Battle of Khe Sanh

Khe SanhOperation Pegasussiege of Khe Sanh
Both units provided Air Drop and LAPES support during the Siege of Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War.
The most dramatic supply delivery system used at Khe Sanh was the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System, in which palletized supplies were pulled out of the cargo bay of a low-flying transport aircraft by means of an attached parachute.

Capabilities exercise

On July 1, 1987, during a capabilities exercise (CAPEX), a USAF C-130E (68-10945 c/n 4325) crashed while performing a LAPES demo at the Sicily Drop Zone, on Fort Bragg.
Examples include capabilities exercises conducted for the low-altitude parachute-extraction system, the VMA-542 fixed wing attack squadron, or to demonstrate a capability such as deployment of emergency response assets, and so on.

Fixed-wing aircraft

fixed-wingaircraftfixed wing
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

Cargo aircraft

transport aircraftcargo planefreighter
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

Landing

landtouchdownlandings
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

Parachute

bail outparachutingbailed out
The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

United States Armed Forces

U.S. militaryUnited States militaryarmed forces
This method was developed by the US Military with the assistance of the 109th Quartermaster Company (Air Drop) in 1964.

Vietnam War

Vietnamwar in Vietnamwar
Both units provided Air Drop and LAPES support during the Siege of Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War.

Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base

Benito Ebuen Air BaseB/Gen Benito N. Ebuen Air BaseBenito Ebuen AFB
This practice was perfected at Mactan Air Base in Cebu, Philippines.

Cebu

Cebu IslandCebu, PhilippinesCebú
This practice was perfected at Mactan Air Base in Cebu, Philippines.

Philippines

🇵🇭FilipinoPhilippine
This practice was perfected at Mactan Air Base in Cebu, Philippines.

Pallet

palletspalletizingskids
Preparation for a LAPES delivery includes loading cargo on a pallet rigged with two types of parachutes (chutes).

Pilot error

crew errorconfusion by the pilotcrew errors
However, the drop sequence's low altitude allows for no margin of pilot error and the risk of plane crash is heightened.

Aviation accidents and incidents

plane crashairplane crashaviation accident
However, the drop sequence's low altitude allows for no margin of pilot error and the risk of plane crash is heightened.

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

C-17C-17 GlobemasterC-17 Globemaster III
In March 1994, the U.S. Army decided it did not need the 60000 lb low-altitude parachute extraction system (LAPES) delivery with the C-17 and that the C-130's 42000 lb capability was sufficient.

44 Parachute Brigade (South Africa)

44 Parachute Brigade3 Parachute Battalion37 Field Workshop SAOSC
Vehicles were dropped by means of both the Platform Extraction System, as well as the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System.

Tanks in the Cold War

Cold War Tanks
The US M551 Sheridan had similar strengths and weaknesses, but could also be airdropped, either by parachute or LAPES.

Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles

FMTVMedium Tactical VehicleOshkosh FMTV
Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES), later revised to Low Velocity Air Drop (LVAD) variants of A0 production LMTV (M1081 cargo) and MTV (M1093 cargo and M1094 dump) variants were produced.

Humvee

HMMWVHumveesHMMWVs
In combat conditions, the HMMWV can be delivered by the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System which pulls the vehicle out of the open rear ramp just above the ground without the aircraft having to land.

Airdrop

air dropairdropsdropped
High-Velocity Airdrop is the delivery of a load involving a parachute meant to stabilize its fall. The parachute will slow the load to some degree but not to the extent of a Low-Velocity airdrop as High-Velocity airdrops are used for durable items like MREs. LAPES (Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System) is a variation of an HV drop where the aircraft almost completes a touch-and-go type pattern (without actually touching the ground) and the load is ejected at an extremely low altitude. This is shown in the photo of the C-130 airdropping a tank.

Light tank

light tankslightAmphibious light tank
The US M551 Sheridan had similar strengths and weaknesses, but could also be airdropped, either by parachute or LAPES.

834th Airlift Division

834th Air Division834d Air Division834th Air
During the summer of 1967, Navy Seabees improved the runway at Khe Sanh with aluminum planking dropped by division C-130s using the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES).

M551 Sheridan

M551A1 SheridanSheridanM551 'Sheridan
The Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES) is a somewhat risky maneuver that allows accurate delivery onto a field when landing is not possible, and the practice was stopped in the late 1990s.