Airborne Days Showcases Parachute Technology to Allied Military Audience
Eloy, AZ - 15 February, 2009
Airborne Systems Group, which has combined the world’s leading parachute brands specializing in aerial delivery, rescue and survival equipment, and engineering services, held a unique two day parachute technology event, demonstrating some of the world’s most advanced aerial delivery products.
“Airborne Days II” showcased the latest in non-steerable, steerable and ram-air troop parachute systems. Demonstrations were also provided for precision cargo delivery and search and rescue systems. The event allowed allied militaries from around the world to participate in a specialized, hands-on educational format where qualified airborne military personnel were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to test jump new state-of the art parachute systems made available from the company. Military personnel from 19 different countries made jumps with a variety of equipment.
Attendees marveled at the precision demonstration of the Airborne Systems MicroFlyTM and FireFlyTM JPADS (Joint Precision Air Drop Systems) which use GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to “steer” the cargo to a specific target location. These JPADS systems are revolutionizing troop re-supply in remote hazardous locations as they can be dropped from altitudes and locations well out the range of small arms fire. The company has developed a series of these precision cargo delivery systems for use with varying weights and sizes using the same software platform. With this “family” approach, the user interface on the Autonomous Guidance Units and the Mission Planer are identical across the various models of precision guided cargo delivery products.
One of the new troop parachutes featured was the T-11 advanced tactical parachute system. The T-11 is the world’s most advanced non-steerable parachute system and is slated to replace the US Army’s aging T-10 series of non-steerable troop parachutes in use since the 1950’s. The T-11 is designed to carry more weight, reduce opening shock and reduce impact energy upon landing to lessen the potential for injury. Another new technology shown on interactive display was the U.S. Army’s latest steerable troop parachute, the MC-6 system which is being fielded to replace the U.S. Army’s MC1-1 series of steerable troop parachutes. Like the T-11, the new MC-6 has reduced opening shock, less oscillation and reduces impact energy upon landing.
Several high performance military parachutes were also featured. These included the Hi Glide HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening) system which has the highest gliding capability available and has been adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps, along with the Raider/Intruder System currently under evaluation as a candidate for the replacement of the U.S. Army’s MC-4 Ram Air Parachute System. A static demonstration was also provided for the ARK (Aerial Rescue Kit) and SPARK (Small Pack Response Kit) which are the latest technologies used in aerial delivery rescue and survival equipment.
“We really felt this was a great opportunity to learn about products and have a better understanding of how they perform; something we can’t get in a brochure” said a Special Forces attendee who asked not to be named.