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MC-5 Static Line/Free-Fall Ram Air Parachute System (SL/FF RAPS)

For almost three-quarters of a century small, highly trained groups of soldiers have been inserted behind enemy lines to disrupt the movement of enemy troops and supplies to the front lines. These brave soldiers have frequently used parachutes as a means to infiltrate without being detected. Although most of the airborne forces of the world still use round parachutes, some specialized units use the Ram Air Canopy as their primary means of infiltration.

The military variant of the Ram Air parachutes allows the free fall parachutist the ability to jump with more than 100 lbs. of additional equipment attached to him. In addition to the extra weight, the jumper must also withstand the high winds, frigid temperatures and low oxygen common at high altitude, requiring the jumper to be highly skilled. When exiting the aircraft, normally from an altitude of 12,500 feet, the jumpers free fall for about two miles at approximately 120 miles per hour. They fly their bodies to perform maneuvers using their hands, arms legs and shoulders to control their flight.

The MC-5 SL/FF RAPS will provide Military Free-Fall (MFF) parachuting communities with a parachute that can be configured for static line or free-fall, depending on mission requirements. The MC-5 integrates components of the Paraflite MT-1XX Interim RAPS, the MC-4 RAPS, and the MT-1XS S/L convertible static line system into one versatile parachute system. The system uses identical main and reserve canopies, which not only reduce the logistics involved with separate canopies, but also eliminates the training, maintenance, and operational use of a different size/configuration reserve canopy.

The system's identical main and reserve parachutes, which can be interchanged, are 370 square feet, seven-celled, and are manufactured from 1.1 ounce F-111 nylon ripstop fabric. A cotton reinforcement/buffering panel is installed on the top and bottom skin of the canopy. The deployment sequence for the reserve canopy incorporates a free-bag system, which consists of a spring-loaded pilot chute, a bridle, and a deployment bag. The harness and container assembly has a two-pin main container to accommodate the static line. The leg straps/chest strap are fitted with quick ejector snaps.

The Marine Corps force reconnaissance teams use a variety of insertion methods to advance to their area of operations. One of the primary methods of insertion involves the use of highly maneuverable square parachutes for high-altitude, high opening (HAHO) parachute operations. The MC-5 SL/FF RAPS will satisfy the Marine Corps requirement for a parachute that can be used to support this mission.

The MC-5 is a round controllable parachute that can be used up to 25,000 feet with a static line. It has a minimal altitude of 3,500 feet for freestyle jumps and 2,500 feet for static jumps. Similar to the currently used T-10 parachute, the MC-5 has one major difference; the reserve parachute is located on the back of the jumper as opposed to the front. The jumper can impede the deployment of the reserve shoot if it's in the front. The reserve will work just as well in the back as it will in the front. Also, it allows the jumper to get out of the harness quicker and he can attach more gear where the old reserve was. The MC-5 also can be controlled to be able to land in small areas. The parachutist could land on a rooftop if he wanted. This makes the parachute ideal for tactical situations where the drop zone is small, for which the Marine Corps is famous.

Primary function Means of insertion for reconnaissance and special operations forces
Manufacturer Paraflite
Canopies (Main & Reserve) Surface area -- 370 square feet
Structure 7 cells
Material 1.1 ounce F-111 nylon/cotton reinforcement
Altitude range 3,000 ft AG> to 30,000 ft MSL
Deployment velocity 0-130 KIAS
Forward speed 15-25 MPH
Rate of descent Full Speed -- 14-18 ft/sec
50% Brakes -- 8-14 ft/sec
Reliability 0.999
Unit Replacement Cost $6,000 [as of 12/15/95]

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:37:35 ZULU