Army Plans to Shoot Supplies to its Own Soldiers Inside Hollow Mortars

Army Plans to Shoot Supplies to its Own Soldiers Inside Hollow Mortars
May 22, 2017 | Source: Popular Mechanics, popularmechanics.com, 9 Mar 2017, Kyle Mizokami

The U.S. Army is researching a new way to resupply troops: by bombing them with mortars. The service was recently granted a patent for a method that uses hollow artillery shells, GPS, and parasails to deliver goods to soldiers pinned down on the battlefield.

In this era of automatic weapons, it's relatively easy to run out of ammunition. A soldier's basic load of 180 rounds for his weapon might run low during a firefight, prompting a need for more ammunition. But in the confusion of battle it can be hard to figure out where friendly ammo supplies are, and enemy fire may restrict a unit's movement.

That's why the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey came up with the "Ammunition Resupply Projectile" (ARP). ARP is a hollow mortar round that can be packed with ammunition—say, 5.56-millimeter rounds for the Army's M4A1 carbine.