Vol . 8 No. 4 August 2000
Parachute & Allied Technologies
DRDO has designed and developed flexible aerodynamic decelerators (commonly known as parachutes) and the allied technologies. More than 80 products developed have gone into bulk production.
Brake parachutes have been developed for all combat aircraft from Gnat to MiG-29 and LCA. Also, recovery parachutes have been developed for Brake Parachute for MiG-29 pilotless target aircraft Lakshya, remotely piloted vehicle Nishant, and Agni missile payload. The systems developed have achieved flawless, damage-free consecutive recoveries of Lakshya and Nishant.
Parachute tactical assault and pilot parachute with ejection seat have been developed for low level jump for military assault and for safe escape of pilot during emergency, respectively. Six hundred parachute tactical assault have been supplied to the Army. Twenty complete pilot parachute assemblies for Jaguar and 58 for Kiran aircraft have been supplied for use by the Air Force .
Besides, a multistage multi canopy heavy drop parachute system has also been developed for extraction and delivery of cargo loads up to three tonnes for AN-32 aircraft. Extraction and delivery of six tonne load from IL-76 aircraft is planned to be undertaken.
The following indigenous allied technologies have been developed:
Aircraft Arrester Barrier System
This system is used to arrest combat aircraft on runway in case of aborted take-off or landing emergencies. Sixteen aircraft arrester barrier systems have been ordered by the Air Force and are gradually being installed at the various air bases.
Balloon Barrage System
It is a passive air defence system designed to protect vital installations close to the national border. A barrier of tethered balloons hoisted around vital installations form a barrage against aerial attack by intruding low flying enemy aircraft. Two systems have already been installed at the forward air bases.
Emergency Floatation System
It is an add-on feature to the helicopter airframe structure which enables the crew members to evacuate immeDIATely during emergency ditching into the sea. A combination of four floats get inflated in less than 10 s after its gas management system is triggered by an electrical activation system.
Aerostat system works on lighter-than-air , technology, has excellent
station-keeping capabilities and is used for a variety of defence applications in
the field of surveillance, communication, and intelligence. The payload is mounted on a
stable platform which maintains the orientation of sensor in the desired direction
irrespective of the motion of the balloon during the wind. The system developed by DRDO is
able to cover a range of 4 km during the day and 1 km during the night for the proof of
concept. Further trials with 160 cu m and 250 cu m balloons are planned.