Airborne Systems, a world leader in parachute systems, has been awarded the largest of three production delivery order contracts by the US Department of Defense for the new T-11 advanced tactical troop parachute system for the US Armed Forces. The Airborne Systems’ designed T-11 is one of the largest-ever troop parachute system programmes for the US Armed Forces, with a total potential value of $220m over the next five years. The T-11 will replace the 52,000 T-10 parachutes, currently in service with the US Army, which first entered service in the 1950s.

The T-11 non-steerable parachute features a range of innovative technological advances which will increase the combat power of airborne forces by improving jumper safety while simultaneously allowing jumpers to carry more equipment. The T-11 is designed to carry a paratrooper with an all up weight (AUW) of 400lb (180kg) safely to the ground, approximately 100lb greater than the current parachute system.

Elek Puskas, CEO of the Airborne Systems Group, said: “We are delighted with the order and particularly proud to have designed the T-11. In collaboration with the US Army, our engineers have developed a unique and innovative design that has resulted in a much safer assault troop parachute which is much more capable, stable and effective at meeting the needs of the modern soldier on today’s battlefields. The T-11 has already attracted a lot of interest around the world, which with our exclusive rights for the T-11 outside the United States will result in significant export sales for Airborne Systems Group.”

The 75th Ranger Regiment began operational testing of the T-11 at Fort Benning, GA, in March 2009. A remarkable reduction in landing injuries of greater than 75% over the T-10 was achieved during more than 3,000 jumps.

Airborne Systems has received an initial full rate production contract of $13,996,042 for the T-11 which will be produced at its state-of-the-art facility in Santa Ana, California, US. This amount represents the first delivery order in a five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity production-contract with multiple delivery awards.