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As of August, 2012, The US Army is once again jumping the T-11 advanced tactical parachute system, which is used in mass parachute assaults from altitudes as low as 500 feet above ground level — offers slower rates of descent, greater equipment carrying capacity, and decreased oscillation under the canopy. The maximum deployment altitude of the T-11 is 7,500 feet above sea level, and it can deploy at speeds up to 150 knots indicated airspeed.

As you can see in the above image, The T-11 is cruciform in shape, as opposed to a circle like the T-10. This means a larger surface area and diameter and a greater weight limit (400 lbs). This new canopy also results in a slower rate of descent to 19 feet per second vice the 22 feet of the T-10. Combine these features and you get a lower risk of jump-related injuries.

LTC John Ring, director of operations, XVIII Abn Corps says, “The T-11 parachute is the first revolutionary change in tactical parachutes in more than 51 years. It’s the first static line parachute where you actually experience freefall for a period of time. [With] every other static line parachute that we jump, you are tied to the airplane all the way until the parachute is completely deployed.”

The T-11 is replacing more than 52,000 chutes currently used by Army airborne units over a seven year period...“The T-11 allows us to accommodate increased loads, which is necessary because the typical American’s physical size has grown in the last 50 years,” Kraak says. “And with the level of protective gear soldiers wear and carry, their protective plates, weapons, batteries, and equipment, they are heavier now when they come out of airplanes.”

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