Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra is a premier R&D Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) engaged in design and development of various types of parachutes for Armed Forces. Over the years, ADRDE has designed and developed the following categories of parachutes:-
(i) Paratrooper parachutes.
(ii) Seat ejection parachutes for fighter aircraft.
(iii) Brake parachutes for fighter aircraft.
(iv) Recovery parachutes for heavy drop systems.
(v) Ammunition & weapon parachutes.
All the above parachutes have been in use by Armed Forces. However, in the category of Paratrooper Parachutes, the Combat Free Fall (CFF) Parachute designed and developed by ADRDE has undergone the following trials:
A batch of 30 Prototype parachutes has undergone 170 live jumps (Technical Trials) and 242 live jumps (User Trials) by user successfully.
•Subsequently, Army placed an indent on OPF, Kanpur for 700 nos. of indigenous CFF Parachutes.
• The scope of the indent on OPF was to make initial 42 nos. pilot batch for live jump (Field Trials) by the Army.
•The Field Trials with initial lot of parachutes produced by OPF, Kanpur have undergone live jumps by Army safely without any casualty. However, out of 42 parachutes, 14 parachutes jump were in order, and 28 parachutes were found with some tear in the cloth (still the jumps were safe since reserve parachutes worked well as redundancy, whenever required). It was found that cloth material supplied by one particular vendor failed, whereas, 14 parachute clothes supplied by other vendor were successful. Hence conditional bulk production clearance was given by Army and suggested to go for the cloth material from the same vendor which was successful. Subsequent lots have also been produced and there was no cloth material fault reported.
ADRDE is the only laboratory in DRDO for design and development of parachutes. Total expenditure incurred on development of Combat Free Fall (CFF) parachute was Rs.228.25 lakh by ADRDE.
The shortcomings on Combat Free Fall (CFF) Parachutes trials observed and reported by the User have been analysed by ADRDE and due rectification have been suggested to Production Agency.