Army Prepares to Field Safer, Stronger Parachute Army Times
Santa Ana,CA - 21 July, 2008
The new parachute the Army plans to field next spring is designed to be safer and more capable than its predecessor, which will be replicated in the first sweeping improvement to the service'sparachute system in about 50 years.
The Mass Tactical Canopy Personnel Parachute System, known as the T-11, is in operational testing at Fort Bragg, N.C., as the replacement for the T-10, which soldiers now use.
The T-11 features a completely redesigned main and reserve parachute and an integrated harness System, According to officials at Program Executive Office Soldier. The new parachute is designedto carry a load that the T-10 can't handle.
“Soldiers are bigger now, and the equipment they have now is greater: said Lt. Col. John Lemondes, who leads Product Manager Clothing and Individual Equipment for PEO Soldier. "The old equipment couldn't carry the Total jumper weight.”
The T-11 can carry loads up to 400 pounds, 40 pounds more than the T-10. It also allows a stable, low rate of descent that reduces landing injuries, officials say.
However, the T-11 itself is heavier than the T-10. Made from nylon with Teflon-coated suspension lines, the T-11 is a heavier load at 53 pounds - 38 pounds for the main parachute and 15 for the reserve - compared with 44 pounds for the T-10.
Another difference between the old round parachute and the boxy new one is the waiting time to pull the cord, Instead of the four-second count soldiers typically use to estimate when their parachute will open once they leave an aircraft, the T-11 requires a six second Count for soldiers jumping out of high performance fixed wing aircraft and eight seconds when jumping out of helicopters.