EADS ParaLander Enters Precision Paradrop Market
“JPADS: Making Precision Air-Drops A Reality” covered efforts underway in America and elsewhere to create and use systems that used advanced guidance and flight control software to turn paradropped supplies into precision-targeted deliveries from high altitudes. On Nov 7/07, EADS Defence & Security announced a contract for equipping German Special Forces with its newly developed ParaLander self-guidance ram-air cargo parachute system.
The German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has signed a contract for the delivery of 5 ParaLander systems by end of 2007, for use by the Bundeswehr’s ISAF contingent in Afghanistan. This may be welcome news indeed, as it will ease the strain on Germany’s aged C-160 Transall aircraft, who are facing readiness and maintenance issues even as their replacement A400Ms will be late in arriving.
The ParaLander system enables precision air delivery from heights of up to 10,000 metres/ about 35,000 feet, and over distances of up to 50 km/ 30 miles. This allows aircraft to fly safer and less stressful mission profiles at high altitude, with minimal maneuvering. Paralander shares a system architecture and mission planning module with EADS DS’ ParaFinder, the mission planning and navigation system used by the German Special Forces for high-precision parachute jumps from high altitudes.