Inspired by the use of artillery shells to resupply surrounded troops during the Battle of the Bulge, a contract for the development of a cargo missile was awarded to Convair in 1958 by the U.S. Army. Developed by a team led by Bill Chana, the missile was capable of delivering 50 pounds (23 kg) of cargo over a distance of approximately 8 miles (13 km); once the rocket motor burned out, a parachute was deployed to deliver the cargo. A portable, mortar-like launcher was used; it allowed for a three-man team to transport and fire the missile; Lobber was described as being able to reliably hit a target "within the length of a football field" and was expected to cost less than $1,000 USD per round.It was proposed that modular cargo sections be pre-packaged with supplies, with nose and tail sections attached to the needed section just before launch.If you're looking for solutions to today's problems it might be worth the effort to see what was done in the past.
The first test launch took place in December 1958 at Camp Irwin in California. Flight testing proved highly successful, and Convair proposed variants with explosive, chemical, and nuclear warheads; the United States Marine Corps also considered adopting the missile, and it was also proposed to develop a variant for anti-submarine warfare usage by the United States Navy. Larger variants were also proposed, as well as civilian usage for firefighting. However the inherent inaccuracy of the unguided, solid-fueled rocket, combined with logistical issues, meant that Lobber was not adopted for service.
During a night of insomnia I was looking at resupply issues and how we could adopt past solutions to distributed operations....how can we keep a Company Landing Team supplied if they're in the thick of the fighting?
We could look at the Convair Lobber you see above. My proposal though is to take the body of a Brit 2000 pound bomb, fill it with food and ammo and simply kick it off the ramp or drop it from a fighter to the troops on the ground.
Attach a GPS system to the nose cone and the worry about it falling into enemy hands should be almost nil. If we can do the same with a Small Diameter Bomb and if it maintains its same flight characteristics then you could resupply SOCOM units behind enemy lines without the enemy being the wiser.
Is this practical? Seems like a simple no brainer but I'll leave it to the fly boys to work the details. In the meantime it could be a solution to resupplying units under fire in worst case scenarios....if it could be made to work that is.