Airborne Systems Group


Airborne Systems is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of best-of-class parachutes for military personnel and aerial delivery systems including Guided Precision Aerial Delivery Systems (GPADS), air droppable safety and survival equipment, as well safety and rescue harnesses. The company also provides space and air vehicle recovery systems, deceleration systems for high-performance aircraft, naval decoys, airbags, and weapons delivery systems.
Airborne Systems technology and expertise is also applicable to operations in the marine defence sector, with products that can be delivered by air and sea to support naval operations. These range from an airdrop system for rigid inflatable boats, rescue equipment for personnel in the water, and a sophisticated floating countermeasure product.

A unique Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery Systems for counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations

Airborne Systems Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery System (MCADS) is an aerial delivery system capable of airdropping large rigid inflatable boats (RIB) and used for Special Forces, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations. MCADS is the only airdrop system currently in service anywhere in the world certified for use with the Lockheed Martin C-130 and Boeing C-17 and that is also compatible with the floor of the new Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, of which deliveries are due to begin in 2013. 

Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery Systems MCADS was designed, developed and tested by Airborne Systems in response to US SOCOM operational requirements and has since been used by many Allied countries. A range of airdrop platform configurations can accommodate boats from 6.5 to 11 metres (21.32 to 36 ft) in length.

An extractor parachute pulls the load from the aircraft. The boat and its platform separate immediately after leaving the aircraft and descend to the water under their own parachutes. The boat is ready for immediate use on landing and parachutists, who are able to exit the aircraft following the load, can land near to the boat in the water. The platform can be rigged to land float for recovery and re-use or sink immediately for covert operation.

These are currently in use by the US SOCOM, UK, Australian and Scandinavian Special Forces as well as many others.

Should military personnel need rescuing from the sea, Airborne Systems has also developed a wide range of rescue and survival equipment.

Aerial rescue and survival kits for extreme conditionsAerial rescue and survival kits

Airborne Systems has developed a Aerial Rescue Kit (ARK) which is a hand-launched life saving system, that can be deployed from a wide variety of aircraft utilizing the aft ramp or side door. A modified version of the ARK can also be deployed manually from rotary-winged aircraft. The system delivers life rafts, complete with survival equipment inside, to survivors in the water.

A life raft inflates automatically upon immersion in water and the drogue parachute and valise are detached from the life raft, to avoid possible entanglement of the survivors. Connected to each other with buoyant rope, two, three, or even four kits can be placed in a straight line pattern on the water surface. The ARK has achieved 100% right-way inflation in more than 30 consecutive drops during trials.

A GPS-Guided Rescue Kit for airdrop at higher altitude and poor visibility

GPS-Guided Rescue Kit for airdrop To respond to a specific need, Airborne Systems developed a precision guided of the ARK - ARKFly™, which will join the Airborne Systems family of GPADS systems. The combination of GPS-guided parachute technology and the proven Aerial Rescue Kit allows the operator to conduct precision air delivery of essential survival equipment from higher altitudes with greater accuracy, even when the target is obscured by fog and a low-level drop puts the crew at risk.  The ARKFly™ can be dispatched using the co-ordinates received from a 406HZ distress radio signal and deployed at a safe stand-off distance.  ARKFly™ is also capable of dropping single or multiple life rafts and survival pack at an altitude of up to 25,000 ft.

An aircraft-mounted survival kit - the Lightweight Survival Kit Air Droppable (SKAD) has also been developed to provide long-range, fast-response search and rescue. It has been qualified on the F-18, Fokker F-50, P-3 Orion, and can be used in other rescue scenarios other than the sea, including Arctic, desert and mountainous terrain. It can also be fitted to military fighters for long ferry missions for potential rescue in case of ejection.

A soft-kill floating maritime countermeasure against RF missiles seekers

floating maritime countermeasure One of the highest-technology products developed by Airborne Systems is the IDS300 Naval Decoy System, designed to defeat even the most up-to-date developments in anti-ship radio frequency missile seekers.

The Naval Decoy System is an inflatable, rapid response ship-deployed floating countermeasure. It incorporates a passive array comprising a series of radar reflectors and is effective without knowledge of the specific type of threat being engaged. The decoy system, which has a proven in-service record with a number of NATO navies, is designed and manufactured to meet specific requirements to match the performance and fighting tactics of the customer’s navy. These performance requirements are radar cross section (RCS) values, the time required from firing to full effectiveness on the sea surface, and the time the decoy is required to remain effective on the sea surface.

The decoy is a fully independent unit and does not need to be supported with other countermeasures such as jammers. It is stored ready for use in a low RCS launcher; typically a ship’s installation comprises four launchers.

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Categories: Aerial Delivery, Airdrop Equipment, Parachutes
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