The war in Ukraine has prompted the US military to reevaluate their approach to large-scale conventional conflicts, specifically in the realm of logistics. To mitigate the challenges of resupplying special-operation units in contested areas, the US Army Special Forces has tested the Glider Disposable 2000 (GD-2000), an unmanned aerial delivery platform. The GD-2000, designed by Yates Electrospace, can carry up to 1,500 pounds of gear and can glide from high altitudes, undetected, into target areas for resupply.
- The Glider Disposable 2000 (GD-2000) is a prototype aircraft being tested by the US Army Special Forces. This unmanned aerial delivery platform is designed to help alleviate logistical challenges faced by special-operations units in hostile regions.
- The GD-2000 can carry up to 1,500 pounds of gear and can fly for over 15 minutes, depending on the operational environment. The glider is capable of being launched from an altitude of 40,000 feet and can travel over 25 to 30 miles, a unique capability unmatched by current equipment.
- A successful test of the GD-2000 included an airdrop of a 1,000-pound payload from a C-27J cargo plane over the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona. The glider landed within 100 feet of its intended spot, and the hull remained intact with undamaged cargo.
- The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the difficulties of resupplying ground units in active combat due to the prevalence of anti-aircraft systems and accurate long-range artillery. This dynamic, considered a preview of potential conflicts with capable adversaries like China or Russia, has led to a greater focus on contested logistics by US war planners.
- The GD-2000 could significantly enhance the capabilities of special operation forces during clandestine operations. By being able to carry 1,500 pounds of equipment, the glider could allow for heavy weapons, unmanned ground vehicles, bikes, or more supplies to be transported over long distances.