Varying Testing Standards across Nations Create Challenges for Military Parachute Manufacturers

Military parachute manufacturers constantly put emphasis on the development of innovative designs and materials that meet the exacting international military specification standards that are required by armed forces around the world. The development of military parachutes are based on the requirement of safe troop deployment in rough and hostile terrain.

Manufacturers focus on the development of innovations for users with various levels of sky diving expertise, with the differing use of tactical assault parachutes, troop parachutes, retardation parachutes, illumination flare parachutes, or aerial delivery cargo parachutes.

Load Carrying Capacity and Exit Altitudes Gain Importance

As per a recent study by Future Market Insights on the global military parachute market, testing methods and flammability standards of different armed forces around the world vary significantly, and manufacturers must certify their products as per the ASTM, BS EN, NFPA, BS EN ISO, or ISO standards, to be able to reach out to a wider pool of buyers. In addition, the constant improvement in functionality and safety of parachute equipment is creating a need for features such as low levels of oscillation, improved vertical rate of descent, and minimal accident rates are given high priority.

For example, Aerodyne Research has developed its general troop parachute system that enables higher equipment and personnel load, lower altitudes for exit, ergometric harnesses, to achieve superlative fill and deployment time. The company’s tactical assault parachute systems, provide innovations for longer ratio of distance to glide, and lighter steering apparatus with oxygen system integration for better control and longer high altitude-high opening flight operations.

Modern HGR parachutes can not only provide easier high altitude infiltration, but have also been designed for ground launches for effective exfiltration. Moreover, manufacturers such as Airborne Systems Inc. are increasingly making use of or innovating on the basis of the PARachute Insertion System (PARIS) that allows long range deployment that could extend the flight to more than 75 kilometers in ideal conditions.

Manufacturers Depend on Supply Contracts to Sustain Business

The global market for military parachutes has a very consolidated nature, where the competition exists primarily between larger players, including BAE Systems Plc, Airborne Systems, Spekon, Mills Manufacturing, Safran SA, Ballenger International, Complete Parachute Solutions, Inc., Aerodyne Research, and Butler Parachute Systems Group Inc.

The challenge for most manufacturers is that they rely heavily on long term supply contracts with geophysical entities to maintain the sustainability of the business, which means that the adoption of new systems and innovations has limited and irregular scope of application.

For example, the U.S. Marine Corp awarded Airborne Systems with a contract in early 2018 to replace the old multi-mission parachute system, which has been in use by the Corps for more than 10 years, to improve on precise landing capabilities, and insertion capabilities with new aircraft models.

For more insights on the developments of the global military parachute market, click here.