US Army Tests New Parachute System to replace T-10

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Trip_Wire, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Link to site:,15240,129882,00.html

    PEO Soldier Tests New Parachute System

    FORT BELVOIR - The Program Executive Office Soldier is testing a new parachute system that the Army plans to use to replace the system in use since the 1950s.

    The new parachutes address increased weight requirements and provide additional safety benefits. Beginning in 2008, all T-10 parachutes in the Army inventory for more than 50 years will be replaced with the Advanced Tactical Parachute System (ATPS) T-11. Although the T-10 is a proven system, today's paratroopers face increased requirements beyond the T-10's design.

    Paratroopers are required to carry more equipment than in the 1950s, when the total weight of the Soldier, parachute system and combat load averaged 300 pounds. The T-11 is designed to carry a paratrooper with a total jump weight of 400 pounds safely to the ground.

    According to Lt. Col. John Lemondes, PEO Soldier's product manager for clothing and individual equipment, the T-11 Reserve Parachute is more reliable and much safer than the T-10's.

    "The T-11 harness improves paratrooper comfort and integration with the parachute and mission equipment," he said. "The T-11 main canopy design results in a much smoother deployment sequence, minimizes oscillation and significantly reduces the rate of descent, which will result in many fewer jumper-related injuries. It will ultimately result in more Soldiers available for duty because of fewer injuries."

    A key safety benefit of the T-11 is a significantly slower rate of descent averaging 18 feet per second, resulting in a 25 percent reduction in impact force over the T-10. The T-11 achieves the slower descent by having a canopy with a 28-percent larger surface area than the T-10, while weighing only seven pounds more. Additionally, the main canopy design results in minimal oscillation after inflation and after lowering the combat load.

    Operational testing of the T-11 began in January under the supervision of the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate and PEO Soldier. It is being tested by XVIII Airborne Corps paratroopers, riggers and jumpmasters who will make more than 3,200 test jumps from through October to ensure its suitability for use in mass-tactical, static-line operations.

    Under the current fielding plan, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Rigger School and the Airborne School will receive the T-11 in 2008-09. The 82nd Airborne Division will receive the new parachute in 2009-11 and T-10s will be replaced Armywide by 2014.
  2. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I take it that they will therefore be dangling longer and subsequently exposed to incoming fire whilst at their most exposed time, for longer.

    Where are the enhanced safety elements in that?
  3. Spanish_Dave

    Spanish_Dave LE Good Egg (charities)

    At a guess Auld Yin I would think a drastically reduced drop height, I had a discussion with a Para who has served as an instructor at Sandhurst a few years back and he said they were dropping lower and it scared the living daylights out of him
  4. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    I wondered about that myself. SD may have a point; however as they pointed out an individuals 'loads,' seem to keep increasing, which would add to the decent rate. Also, given these loads carried by 'Troopers, it is better that they can land without injuries and ready to fight.

    Lately, most US combat jumps haven't been on hot drop zones like WWII or Korea, except for the Ranger BN jump at Grenada, where they did jump very low onto the airstrip, under some unorganized ground fire.

    I doubt that we will ever do WWII type, mass airborne jumps on a defended DZ ever again.
  5. Fewer injuries? Some 90% of jumps are due to jumper's mistakes; poor PLFs, improper exits, riding someone else's pack, etc. not the T-10's 'weaknesses'.

    Call me skeptical, sounds more like someone found a pot of money to fund new gear and a project to run.
  6. Why don't they save time, money and LIVES by buying the Irwin LLP off the shelf? I've been to the factory, they've loads of US defense contracts and have the best 'chutes.

    If we're talking operational jumps, surely we must be talking square parachutes anyway?
  7. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Like your military, as well as ours and everybody elses, they tend to do things 'their way.' :cyclopsani:

    As far as 'square' parachutes in operational jumps, yes that would be true on HALO or HAHO operations by Special Operations units; however, for static line normal troop jumps (82nd Airborne, etc.) they are not used.

    Here is another article on military parachute development. That may help.
  8. I totally agree with the LLP comment, as I've never seen a malfunction on one or heard about one. Most dramas are caused by the blokes having air steals, mid air entanglements ( sh1t dispatching), or the old favourite - poor landing positions.

    Square 'chutes wouldn't work as they do not have a uniformed opening characteristic. ie. you could be heaved left, right , forward, back etc on initial opening. That would obviously mean an underpants munching moment when dispatching sim sticks from the para doors. Going bollocks to face with the starboard stick when you are port stick leaves a lasting impression, both mentally and physically.

    However, I do stand to be corrected by a parachute physics guru.

    Or, a 12 year old civvie sans girlfriend but an unhealthy interest in the 'tinternet.

    Edited to add:

    I've jumped T 10s in the past and had stand up landings. Obviously you Yank blokes have really small testicles :thumright:
  9. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

  10. i enjoy £5 a day extra- it's great.
    The last round jump was suez in '56. US forces may have gone in later but it was on the losing side.
    I can see rounds being kept as a man test- as in the IDF, but operationally they have been killed by helicopters.
    Squares are the future.
  11. Panama in '89 and recently Afghanistan by companies in the 82nd and in Iraq by the 173rd ABN Brigade, both in '03.

    Special Ops perhaps, but I can't see the average airborne soldier going to it. The T-10 is perfect for a mass tactical drop of grunts. Less training involved I'd think. It'd be a mess up there if it was done with squares; can soldiers jump at 600 ft with square chutes?
  12. Looked at Trip's link. "Minimum descent- 500 foot."
    It's an odd-shaped beast- looks like a cross between a square and a round to me. I wonder how well it flies, how much you can flare it etc.
    I've never heard of the "Para Flight Co." however. Do they have much of a proven track record? Or just a really noisy senator (NJ)?