Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft

Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft.  Package and components
Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft. Package and components.

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Food Packet, Life Raft, Aircraft: 1963

This ration was used in survival kits and in life rafts of Navy aircraft, intended for short term use while awaiting rescue or air-drop of supplies.

The Navy requirements were stringent. The packet must withstand extreme temperature changes, be of minimum cube and weight, and consist of food which will be beneficial even when water supply is critically limited. The kinds of food suitable for use in this packet were therefore severely restricted. The specification was revised in the early 1960s to assure maximum stability when exposed to high temperatures (up to 160F.). The updated food packet contained 20 special sucrose tablets and two packets of gum. Half of the tablets were fortified with ascorbic acid and were provided in a variety of fruit flavors and colors to enhance acceptability. The remainder of the tablets were mint-flavored lozenges. Three hundred and six calories were furnished in this all-carbohydrate food packet.

The ration was packaged in a flat metal, key-opening can. A waterproof bag was provided for storing unused tablets. An instruction sheet and a piece of twine were also included in each packet.

Each packet weighed five ounces with a cube of 9.3 cubic inches. The ration was described in specification MIL-F-15381.

Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft

Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft
Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft.

The modern Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft has the same objectives as the earlier ration of the same type. It is used by the Navy to sustain personnel that survive aircraft disasters. The packet, along with other essential equipment, is supplied in the emergency kits carried aboard naval aircraft.

The packet now contains hard candy, candycoated chewing gum, and twine. An instruction sheet is included explaining the use of the twine for storing the components after the packet is opened. The components have maximum stability under extreme temperature changes and have an expected shelf life of 84 months (5 years) at 80F. They must also withstand temperatures up to 160 F (70 C).

The ration weighs 3.5 ounces/packet, 8.0 pounds/case of 144 packets. The cube is 12.0 cubic inches/packet, 0.24 cubic feet/case. The individual packets and case are shown in the photo above.

Each packet provides approximately 300 kilocalories with food that is 100% carbohydrate. It is strictly short-term survival food. Consumption of this ration will help minimize the negative metabolic effects of acute starvation. The components are compatible with potable water restrictions.

Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft is identified by NSN 8970-01-028-9406.

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