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DRDO develops heavy drop system improving Army's para-dropping capacity

| Updated on: Dec 16, 2013

Defence scientists have enhanced India’s capabilities in para dropping key military equipment and supplies from heavy lift aircraft like the IL76 to beef up the Army’s strike power.

A total of 16 tonnes that could include military vehicles, ammunition trolleys and parachute sub-systems, can now be airdropped by the heavy drop system (HDS). Three prototypes of the system have been designed and developed by the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), an Agra-based laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The laboratory has also conducted two successful drops meeting performance parameters, according to a DRDO spokesperson.

The system is an extension of technology developed by DRDO for the ‘P-7 HDS’, the 7-tonne capacity Heavy Drop System developed earlier and already accepted by the Indian Army for induction.

The bulk production of 146 numbers is being initiated at L&T for the mechanical platform and OPF Kanpur for the parachute systems respectively, at an approximate total cost of Rs 180 crore.

The P-7 HDS, paradropped as a composite unit termed ‘Load’, has been developed for para-dropping military stores/equipments such as military vehicles and ammunition trolleys from the IL-76 aircraft and comprises two main sub-systems, namely, platform sub-system and parachute sub-system.

The Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, Avinash Chander, said the system offered ‘drop and drive’ capability and once inducted, the system, a force multiplier, would enhance the capabilities of armed forces.

The organisation has developed a wide range of parachute systems for applications covering ‘delivery of military stores and human beings to the battlefield and remote locations’, to ‘recovery (from spin) parachute systems for Light Combat Aircraft’, to recovery systems for the Space Recovery Experiment.

Somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 16, 2013

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