Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Airbus Defence and Space
Parent System: ParaLander
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): March 2011
Total Production: 5
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Description: The Cassidian ParaLander is a fully automatic ram-air parachute unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system developed to provide safe and accurate delivery of sensitive loads in a wide range of terrains for both civil and military customers. The system has been designed to be released from C-160 Transall aircraft and the planned Airbus A400M tactical transport aircraft. The ParaLander can deliver mission equipment, humanitarian aid and supplies in crisis areas during combat and peacekeeping operations. The ParaLander was cleared for operational deployment by the German Armed Forces in March 2011 with the UAV Category I certification therefore approved for deployment in restricted areas. As of March 2011, Germany has procured five systems to be deployed for missions in Afghanistan with the procurement of additional systems being envisaged.
The system consists of the ram-air parachute vehicle and the control unit, which are lashed to the payload, and a mission planning system. After the parachute system has been dropped from the aircraft, the control unit steers it and its payload to the target area with the aid of servomotors and GPS. A patented mechanical system, activated by a laser altimeter, ensures that the load's descent is slowed down in good time shortly before the landing.
The ParaLander is intended to carry a 1,000 kg payload, dropped from a C-160 Transall transport aircraft. The medium-term goal is also to be able to deploy the ParaLander over populated areas during operations and from on board the A400M. Depending on the type of aircraft dropping it, the system can be used at altitudes of up to 10,000 meters and over distances of up to 50 kilometers. ParaLander could carry payloads of more than five tons in the future. The system thus makes a significant contribution to supplying operational units that are cut off from supply routes in the crisis area. In addition, ParaLander can be air dropped beyond the range of most air defense systems improving the transport aircraft's survivability.
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