The US military is to gain new parachutes through a multi-million dollar order placed with UK defence/aerospace firm BAE Systems.
The contract will see BAE Systems supply it with T-11 Personnel Parachute Systems for use by US Army paratroops on air-drop missions and operations. It follows an earlier order, placed in late 2009, and – combined – the deals have a value of around $13.7m.
As a result, new parachute systems will be supplied on a rolling basis from now until November this year.
T-11 Parachute System
The T-11 parachute system is the follow-up to the T-10 design, use of which within the US military dates back to the 1950s. Compared to the earlier system, the T-11 offers a range of design improvements and safety boosts.
The parachute canopy itself is a brand new design. It’s a different shape, to begin with – it’s square, not round. When expanded, it comes in at 28 per cent larger than the T-10’s canopy. On average, it provides a descent rate of 5.8 metres a second – slower than the T-10’s 7.3 metres per second. This acts as a safety feature, reducing injuries caused when soldiers hit the ground at too high a velocity.
Together, the canopy and the harness, through which it’s attached to the body, have a weight of 17 kilograms.
US Army Paratroopers