USAF Awards $27.5 Million Task Order to AAR for Production of 463L Cargo Pallets

463L HCU-10/C Pallet sourced at

AAR Mobility Systems has been awarded a task order valued at $27.5 million from the U.S. Air Force for production of 463L cargo pallets. The cargo pallets will be manufactured in Cadillac, Michigan and are expected to be completed by December 30, 2020. This task order is tied to a previously awarded contract, which brings the total cumulative face value to $170.6 million.

“Over the past 50 years AAR has been the sole provider of 463L cargo pallets to the USAF and we are honored to support their ability to deploy strategic assets worldwide,” said Lee Krantz, Senior Vice President, AAR Mobility Systems. “This new order ensures that we will continue to assist them in maintaining optimum readiness levels across the USAF and other services within the DoD.”

According to Compliance Packaging International, the 463L was designed in the late 1950s to provide more efficient intermodal cargo transfer for the United States Air Force:

 A single 463 L pallet is 88” long by 108” wide and is 2 ¼” thick. An empty 463 L pallet weighs 290 pounds (355 pounds with a complete set of nets) and has a maximum load capacity of 10,000 pounds. The maximum pounds per square inch load that can be placed upon a 463 L pallet is 250 pounds. The usable dimensions of the upper surface of a 463 L pallet are 84” wide by 104” long, allowing a 2” periphery around the pallet to attach straps, nets, or other restraint devices. 

AAR has been providing 463L systems cargo pallets to the U.S. Armed Forces since the early 1960s and continues to be the world leader in design and production. The 463L USAF design uses a lightweight balsa wood core that continues to provide unparalleled strength-to-weight performance and reliability compared to alternative commercial pallet designs.

AAR is a global aerospace and defense aftermarket solutions company that employs more than 6,000 people in over 20 countries. Headquartered in the Chicago area, AAR supports commercial and government customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Expeditionary Services. AAR’s Aviation Services include parts supply; OEM solutions; integrated solutions; maintenance, repair, overhaul; and engineering. AAR’s Expeditionary Services include mobility systems and composite manufacturing operations. Additional information can be found at

AAR Mobility Systems is a division of AAR and a leading global supplier of rapid deployment equipment, including mobile tactical shelters, pallets and expeditionary containers that enhance the military’s ability to mobilize, deploy, maneuver and sustain forces. AAR Mobility also manufactures large lightweight structural assemblies and platforms that support mission essential functions. Products are supported through a network of service centers, field service teams and strategic partners. More information can be found at