posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:46 AM
Elite special forces troops being dropped behind enemy lines on covert missions are to ditch their traditional parachutes in favour of strap-on
Myself, anything which has to _come off the top_ to give me a decent (say survivable) descent rate is a bad thing. Particularly if I am expected to
arch my back and look forward as I can imagine sudden windshear burying fragments of carbon fiber in your back, or worse.
Instead, why not let the operator sit or lie back on it, riding like a luge. That puts the LO material underneath the body and the payload sleeve
with an aeroskin ahead of it.
Which in turn implies that one can part company with the equivalent of quickrelease binders and gravity, like a giant ski boot, using the parachute
force itself to rip free if need be.
HUD or Wrist displays can give you horizon-tal reference points and a properly designed unit might even be 'rollable' or equipped with clear panels
if a vertical view was deemed mandatory.
The lightweight carbon fibre mono-wings will allow them to jump from high altitudes and then glide 120 miles or more before landing - making them
almost impossible to spot, as their aircraft can avoid flying anywhere near the target.
In the early 80's, Israel had problems with both ultralights and conventional parachutists entering their Northern occupieds, I think one even
managed to drop a few bombs. Since their conventional radars couldn't see these nuissance intrusions, they went to Raytheon who promptly came up
with something called 'AIDS' or 'RAIDS' or somesuch which stood for (high angle) intrusion detection system. It turned out a combination of the
right elevation patterns and PRF interleave pops these targets quite nicely (same deal as hunting cruise missiles, look as they pass for a specific
doppler rate). Most of their 'telephone pole' surveillance system on the border with Lebananon now includes an every other home grown version of
this system I believe.
In any case, since you are STILL going to be in the air upwards of ten minutes and since you are STILL going to be without ground transport upon
arrival, I would rather hope that this kind of experimentalism is only attempted in uguhbugguh and similar back of beyond locales where the ability of
threat air mobile and even vehicle response teams is limited.
SOF's key determinator in terms of utility is defined not by the vulnerability of their delivery vehicle in HAHO, but by the blank-all they can do
once they hit the dirt without the permission and support of imbedded locals. CIA doesn't like to expose their contacts and without them, you're
effectively backpacker with guns.
Where 'agency cooperation' works at all, the resulting politics of bribery still takes time to make contact and do a deal and often binds U.S. to
arbitrary conditions of alliance that are ultimately not in our best interest for the price of a few horses or an SUV plus 'roaming charges'.
Put those SWOians on anything with wheels and an engine and now they don't have to drop in on anybody and can actually keep up with some mechanized
advances rather than being 'dated' as much as exposed by restricted local terrain conditions.
I would be more interested if this system worked in combination with some of the powered ram-air parachutes I've seen that are at least capable of
delivering ATV type systems (albeit only over about 45-50nm) to get thee heck away from the LZ.
I would also like to see a _low level_ variant or dual-role system that can both insert and recover without a delivery vehicle having to come to a
hover or land to get men out. Ideally you want something which will give you a controlled descent through wake turbulence (which on a C-130 can be
pretty terrible) or past the tail rotor and then 'pop' your vertical velocity index to either skip-rock you away a couple miles from the aircraft
ground track or at least give a proper parachute opening height.
On the other end, an extraction system must work up through Fulton speeds but with STABO like (multi person, same pass) recovery efficiencies and _no
slingshot_ effect, again because of potential TR problems. One thing that comes to mind is the use of net and hook equipped aircraft to snatch recce
drones and film cassettes 'way back when'. Again, if you could get a man OFF THE GROUND and up to flying speed (with a lowprofile rocket extractor)
it would make life a lot simpler for the snatch and grab aircraft because you could have a higher terrain clearance and superior density/temp options
of stall margin mitigation.
For sport jumping it offers new boundaries of marathon challenges at some increase in risk. For the military, the drop doesn't mean diddly dip
compared to what you do when you get there and they should know this better, now, than ever before.