US Army Touts Disposable Parachutes


The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is apparently pleased with its cheap new disposable cargo parachutes.

The chutes, some of which are made from the plastic polypropylene rather than cotton and polyester cloth, are designed for one-time use during airdrops, according to a press release from the service. They can presumably be left or destroyed in the field.

The so-called Low Cost Aerial Delivery System, or LCADS, proved itself in Afghanistan after successfully and accurately dropping supplies and equipment; now, the family of pre-packed parachutes and containers are being more widely adopted throughout the command to help reduce costs, according to the release.

“The benefits of the LCADS are both cost and logistics,” Scott Martin, an equipment specialist for the Product Manager Force Sustainment System, said in the release. “We developed the LCADS primarily to reduce operational costs and at 50 percent less than traditional parachutes.”

Some of the LCADS are leftover T-10 main and reserve chutes too old to be used by paratroopers, so they were re-purposed for a one-time cargo mission, the release states. Others are the newer design made from polypropylene.

We’re curious to know if any of our readers have ever seen or used these new disposable parachutes. Of even greater interest, what do paratroopers and riggers think of them?


About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Mark Tate

    Mr. McGarry, please remove your name from the byline. You took my story from the ARNEWS site and put your name on it. For those who want proof, check out the USASOC News site at

    • VTGunner

      Oops lol

    • Alias47

      Interesting that the only part of the story that is recounted verbatim is the quote. Yet you claim ownership of this article…an article on a website that summarizes military news releases and sends them to their subscriber list.

    • McGarryB17

      Mark, we thought your piece was cool and wanted to publicize it — by summarizing it and providing a link and proper attribution. As it was published on a government website under the byline “USASOC News Service,” it’s technically a press release and available for public distribution. My editor left you a voice mail, but I’m happy to chat with you, too. If you don’t see my e-mail, you can e-mail me at

  • Yellow Devil

    Hopefully, disposable parachutes doesn’t turn into disposable Soldiers…

  • galloglas

    I will not jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
    But, If I were to, I would NOT jump with a disposable parachute.

    • Rick

      The Air Force doesn’t fly a single perfectly good airplane. Also these chutes are being used for cargo exclusively.

  • IAC

    I recall the stores from WW2 of European brides being married in gowns made from dropped US chutes.
    Will this be possible with the LCADS ?

  • JCitizen

    I’d imagine the locals would be glad to use them for temporary shelter!