New MFF ARAPS Contract Winner


SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
Interesting to see the old Paraflite (now Airborne Systems) win this contract over the powerhouse that is CPS. I'm guessing CPS is pushing for international business for their gear and everywhere for training?

Airborne Systems, a subsidiary of HDT Global (“HDT”), a provider of highly-engineered mobile military and emergency response solutions, announced today it has been awarded a $27 million contract by the U.S. Army’s Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM). The contract will include the production and delivery of an estimated 3,600 Military Free Fall Advanced Ram Air Parachute Systems (MFF ARAPS) utilizing the Airborne System’s Intruder™ parachute system.
In my opinion and what I hear the Army went with this rig most likely because it's cheaper, CPS indeed makes a superior product it's unfortunate whether it's the HH or the MMPS both were submitted to win this contract. Sadly, only the USMC is forward thinking enough to use this rig and spend the money for a better product & training, that better suits our modern fighting man. Honestly, though it's taken along time for the military to come around to ram-air canopies. I worked for a company two years ago and we were making the T-11 for the Army...that thing is only slightly better than some of the rounds from the 60's...but who am I and what do I
Yes, Airborne's system is the "intruder" it is a well designed system but not a greatly designed system like CPS's HH or MMPS. Just saying.
Eh, a "round" for most jumps makes sense, even jumps like a S/L insertion of an ODA due to the training and currency issues associated with a ram-air canopy. If every team guy could jump 12+ times a year I would see it, but otherwise jump the round.
Well I see that concerning rounds but in the business we have a saying "a round will get you down, a square will get you there". It's my opinion that if our government is going to spend all of the money they do on riggers and operators, the operator should be able to land where they want and hopefully safely. The ram-air is high performance and landing can be much more precise as opposed to most rounds. Not saying there aren't good rounds out there being made (smoke jumpers use some great steerable rounds), strides have been made in parachuting for sure. I don't know what every branch uses as rounds either I'm always learning in my field. I just feel like most operators have been to so many schools and received so much training (they are a serious investment) it pains me to hear about guys who land on the side of a tank or something and break their leg, then potentially are not able to proceed with what they were trained for job wise (not saying this couldn't happen under a ram-air). Also guys are paid if they are manifested in the military even if jump ops don't happen, the extra pay alone is worth it to manifest. Secondly, double bag static line jumps don't require near as much training as free fall jumps on systems that are hand deployed (pilot chute or self set / static line drogue). I guess what I'm saying is you could have a bunch of guys jumping dbsl from pretty much any altitude off the bird without much training on ram-airs and they (the team) could fly a nice pattern in without too many jumps and all land safely and where they deem best. Then you are cutting all of the free fall out of it which takes time for sure. Where as again most of the rounds you are kind of at the liberty of winds and the other variables and not able to land where you want. <--all just my humble opinion
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You'll get no argument from me there, but for a unit is is generally cheaper to throw guys out with a round enough to be current than it is to take the time to properly train them and maintain that currency on a square. The issue is landing, pure and simple. Even MFF has lost guys in recent years due to landing incidents. Jumping is inherently dangerous, we all accept that, but flying a ram air and falling with a round are two totally different beasts and the units will STILL have to maintain currency on rounds for various mission packages I don't think we should go into here.

Unless units were spending the coin to keep their guys jumping to keep their canopy control skills sharp, I can't see equipping all of them with squares. 4 jumps a year isn't going to cut it. Not to mention that our military isn't too keen on the merits of airborne insertion despite some of the benefits it provides.