The Russian military is now looking at “stealth” parachutes that would allow the paratroopers to be invisible to night-vision goggles and strike deep-down the enemy defenses.
According to Tass, a firm called the Technodinamika Group is pioneering the technology. “The effect of chemical spraying for making the parachute invisible for night vision devices on the physical properties of basic fabrics used in the manufacture of parachute systems’ canopies and cords and, correspondingly, the possibility of their use in producing materials for the canopies of parachute systems, are now being studied,” said Igor Nasenkov, the Technodinamika chief said.
The reports further said that the stealth effect is achieved by applying special saturating techniques at the stage of producing polyamide threads and fabrics. Already today there are samples of materials for the manufacture of parachute backpacks that will be invisible for night vision devices.
A major advantage of the parachutes would be to carry out a potentially undetected nighttime air-assaults. It would also enable large numbers of infantry to infiltrate an area with less chance of being detected.
This could pose a threat to the US night vision supremacy. The US military has achieved combat success by using one of the most effective and technically advanced night-vision goggles in the world. That is where the well known US military saying “we own the night” comes from.
“However, even if parachute materials are stealthy, it might not mean the heat signature emitting from soldiers themselves would also be undetectable,” wrote Kris Osborn of The National Interest.
“Therefore, the actual tactical utility of stealth parachutes may ultimately be somewhat marginal, given that thermal sensors will likely have little trouble detecting the heat signature emitting from the humans dropping with the parachutes,” he added.
The company also introduced parachutes for Russia’s Ratnik combat gear which are equipped with a unique suspension system that would prevent a soldier’s accidental drowning when landing on water.
“The rapid release parachute locks are used in the new suspension system for the D-10 parachute system. A full cycle of tests has been completed. The suspension system has been reconfigured for the Ratnik combat gear and can be promptly adjusted for each individual soldier,” told Nasenkov, at the Army-2020 international military forum is organized by the Russian Defence Ministry.
In June 2019, the Southern Military District’s press service reported two paratroopers drowned during an exercise in Crimea when they landed into the water after parachute jumping. The troops deployed to Crimea landed into the water and failed to get rid of a parachute harness. An investigation was launched to know the causes of the incident.
Osborn concluded saying that although the on-ground thermal sensors might not be able to detect approaching forces, the radar signals that can detect an airplane, incoming weapon, or attacking drone, can also detect humans which “reinforces the possibility that, ultimately, stealth parachutes may have a little actual impact.”