Behind the JPADS Magic:

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research began working on the technology to produce the global positioning system-guided Joint Precision Airdrop System back in 1997, reports AFOSR. The idea actually came out of the Scientific Advisor Board’s 1995 New World Vista study initiated by Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall. AFOSR worked with the Army’s Natick Soldier Center to develop the hardware and steering mechanisms and to develop special JPADS mission planner software. In October 2005, the Air Mobility Warfare Center came on board to orchestrate the overall effort, leading to the first combat air drop over Afghanistan on Aug. 31, 2006. Now, the JPADS-MP is even being used to improve the non-GPS-guided container delivery system.