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T-10 Parachute

The static line-deployed T-10C Parachute is used for combat mass assault airborne operations and training. T-10C parachutes are used during mass airdrops, where paratroopers exit from both side doors located toward the back of the C-130s. Depending upon air density and the jumper's total weight, the average rate of descent for the parachute is 22 feet per second; total suspended weight limitation is 360 pounds. The parachute is deployed using either a 15- or 20-foot static line, allowing the parachutist to be delivered by either C-130 or C-17 U.S. Air Force aircraft.

The T-10 Parachute is a parabolic shape and has a nominal diameter of 35 feet, 30 suspension lines, and a mesh anti-inversion net. The T-10 Parachute assembly consists of five components: pack tray, troop harness, deployment bag, riser, and canopy. The parachute has a combined service life of 16.5 years: service life is 12 years and shelf life is 4.5 years. The T-10C Parachute must be repacked every 120 days. The T-10C Parachute is made of nylon materials used in the manufacturing of parachutes.

Depending on the jumper's total weight and relative air density, the average rates of descent are 19 to 23 feet per second. Nominal diameter is 35 feet (measured 3 feet up from the skirt) and 24.5 feet at the skirt. The anti-inversion net is sewn 18 inches down on each suspension line and is made of 3 3/4-inch square mesh, knotless, braided nylon. Combined shelf life and service life is 16.5 years; service life is 12 years, and shelf life is 4.5 years. The canopies are repacked every 120 days. The canopies are suitable for airdropping personnel from as high as 10,000 feet MSL.

The bridle loop is 3 inches in diameter and made of Type VIII cotton or nylon with a tensile strength of 3,600 pounds. The 15 apex vent lines are 19 inches long and made of Type II nylon cord with a tensile strength of 375 pounds. The two apex centering loops are 9 inches long and made of Type II nylon cord with a tensile strength of 375 pounds. The apex vent is 20 inches in diameter and expands to 22 inches in diameter when the canopy is inflated. The upper lateral band is 1-inch tubular nylon with a tensile strength of 4,000 pounds.

The 30 gores have five sections each. The 30 radial seams are 9/16 inch wide and 17 feet 2 7/32 inches long. The lower lateral band is made of 1-inch nylon tape with a tensile strength of 525 pounds. The 15 pocket bands have been lengthened to 7 1/2 inches to provide a more positive opening and a 4.37 foot (overall) increase in the canopy to reduce descent to about 15 feet per second. The 30 V-tabs are 9/16 inch wide. The 30 suspension lines are 25 feet 6 inches long.

Compared to the T-7 parachute of 1953, the T-10 is gentler and more forgiving. Decades of refinement on the T-10 make it a tough parachute to replace. Parachuting injuries have increased because the T-10 parachute system, reliably used since the 1950s for mass tactical assaults, can't cope as well with the weight today's soldiers are carrying during airborne operations. This led to the development of the Advanced Tactical Parachute System. The T-10 parachute was designed to handle a gross weight of 250 pounds. It has served the military well, but now some soldiers are jumping with nearly 400 pounds because they are bigger and carry more equipment and supplies to sustain them through the initial fight.

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