The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is apparently pleased with its cheap new disposable cargo parachutes.
The chutes, some of which are made from the plastic polypropylene rather than cotton and polyester cloth, are designed for one-time use during airdrops, according to a press release from the service. They can presumably be left or destroyed in the field.
The so-called Low Cost Aerial Delivery System, or LCADS, proved itself in Afghanistan after successfully and accurately dropping supplies and equipment; now, the family of pre-packed parachutes and containers are being more widely adopted throughout the command to help reduce costs, according to the release.
"The benefits of the LCADS are both cost and logistics," Scott Martin, an equipment specialist for the Product Manager Force Sustainment System, said in the release. "We developed the LCADS primarily to reduce operational costs and at 50 percent less than traditional parachutes."
Some of the LCADS are leftover T-10 main and reserve chutes too old to be used by paratroopers, so they were re-purposed for a one-time cargo mission, the release states. Others are the newer design made from polypropylene.
We're curious to know if any of our readers have ever seen or used these new disposable parachutes. Of even greater interest, what do paratroopers and riggers think of them?