Self-reliant India eyes new terrains in parachute technology

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jan 7, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    Bangalore: India has become self-reliant in designing and manufacturing brake parachutes used in various fighter jets being operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), claimed scientists at the Agra-based Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE). In addition, heavy drop parachutes for transport aircraft, recovery chutes for unmanned platforms and ejection seat chutes have also gone the desi way, thanks to efforts of ADRDE, a DRDO lab.

    Speaking to Express, ADRDE director Dr S C Sati stated that in the last 10 years over 10 lakh different parachutes were delivered to the IAF by Indian industries, via the transfer of technology (ToT) route. “Today, brake parachutes used in Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Tejas, Hawk, MiG 29 and MiG 27 are all made in India. We have recently designed a 30 sqm area cluster of five parachutes for heavy drop systems in P-16. Almost all the IAF assets are now using Indian parachutes, thereby reducing the important content. It has been a silent march towards total self-reliance,” Sati said.

    Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, parafoil analysis and wind-tunnel tests are done before the realisation of a chute. “It's a very critical, yet less-talked about feature of all fighter jets. The parachutes will have to also open outside the wake penetration area of an aircraft,” Sati said. Normally a parachute is released 1-1.5 seconds after the pilot gives the command. In Tejas, it is the spring-activated mechanism that comes to play, while in Su-30 MKI, it is a cartridge firing system that goes live, soon after the aircraft lands. The Tejas chute weighs around 5 kg and for Sukhoi it is 15 kg. “The landing speed of the aircraft matters and the chutes are designed accordingly. A Sukhoi lands at 320 km/hour, while Tejas lands around 270 km/hour. The type of parachutes vary according to aircraft,” he said.

    Ejection seat parachutes designed by ADRDE are being used in Jaguars, Kirans, MiGs and Sea Harriers, while the recovery systems are part of unmanned missions undertaken by Lakshya and Nishant. Currently, the scientists are developing crew capsule recovery parachutes for India's space programmes. “The design validation process with appropriate ground test are progressing at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory in Chandigarh. It's a new area for us as the crew module has to be stable while landing. We have to ensure that the initial shock should not be very heavy, the speed reduction should be slow and limited to the human capability. The idea is to stabilise the crew module,” Sati said.

    For Navy, ADRDE is developing chutes that drop torpedoes from IL-38, an operation that demands flawlessness. “The release mechanism dictates that the entry of a torpedo into water should be at an appropriate angle. It should not hit the water surface with great speed. Currently the fabric material improvements are going on,” he added.

    Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: Self-reliant India eyes new terrains in parachute technology
  3. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    nirranj and AVERAGE INDIAN like this.
  4. sasum

    sasum Atheist but not Communists. Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2016
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    Delhi, India
    DRDO FLOPS: Indigenous Military Parachutes'Unsafe', DRDO Lab Under CAG Scanner


    AGRA: After 13 years of research and crores of rupees spent, parachutes meant for special forces designed by a Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) lab here have not only failed field trials but have also been classed as "seriously life threatening", according to an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), that slammed the functioning of the lab and the indigenous manufacturer.

    The report (no. 44 of 2015) released on Wednesday is part of an audit of Army ordnance factories and defence PSUs by CAG, which has pointed out serious lapses on the part of the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) in Agra and the Ordnance Parachutes Factory (OPF) in Kanpur for allegedly failing to produce combat free fall (CFF) parachutes, despite Rs 10.75 crore in expenses and years of trials.

    CAG has raised questions about ADRDE, the sole institution in India for development of military-grade parachutes, on its claim of successful trials of CFF chutes, pointing out that an overwhelming 75 per cent of the chutes had failed field trials.

    CFF parachutes are used by elite paratroopers for highly specialised operations. In 1986, a batch of them had been imported and, with a shelf life of 10 years, had been finally de-commissioned in 2002, being no longer operationally worthy.

    In 2001, the Army placed an order for 1,031 CFF parachutes, of which 410 were to be procured from abroad on a fast track basis for urgent needs. The remaining 621 were to be produced under a project by ADRDE which started in March 2003. However, in 2006, the ministry of defence ended the import idea, suggesting these chutes also be procured internally.

    Between March and November 2006, ADRDE conducted trials for the CFFs it had developed and claimed these had been successful. The defence ministry then placed an order with OPF Kanpur to make 700 of the parachutes in October 2008, at a total cost of Rs 55.35 crore. OPF was to deliver a sample of 40 for further trials.

    However, according to the CAG report, in 2010, trials of the parachutes found them deficient in quality, with the expert team saying the implications of the flaws were "seriously life threatening". Despite this, the ministry went ahead and in July 2011 ordered two consignments of 25 parachutes each.

    In October 2014, of the first 25 chutes, only seven passed trials. The failure rate of 75 per cent, said the CAG report, raised serious questions about the claims by ADRDE as well as the manufacturer, OPF.

    Meanwhile, in January 2008, Indian Air Force signed a deal with the US government to buy C130 Hercules aircraft, and with them 600 CFF chutes. Of these, 400 were given to the Army in January 2013.

    "Despite urgent requirement for CFF parachutes since 2001, the ministry neither bought them from abroad nor through indigenous sources till December 2012. This resulted in non-availability of parachutes for the Army's immediate operational needs for over a decade," the CAG report remarks, while also questioning the functioning of both ADRDE and OPF.

    ADRDE director Debasish Chakraborti was not available for comment following the release of the CAG report. A senior IAF officer at Kheria air base here, where paratroopers are trained, said, "The quality of imported CFF parachutes is better than indigenously made ones. At present we are using ADRDE parachutes and they have done a decent job so far."
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  5. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
    I am beginning to think that there is a open loop in the process of CAG audit itself. What is point in asking explanation when in all probability the babus who signed on those deals have either retired or moved on to different posts. By the time audit report is coming out, who knows damage may have already happen in some cases.

    Govt Audit process needs to change and has to be part of the procurement cycle itself.
    raja696 likes this.

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