MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The latest D-14 Shelest parachute developed for paratroopers to carry out jumps in the Ratnik combat gear, enables them to plunge into battle and fire their guns while in mid-air, Chief Designer of the Research Institute of Parachute-Making Vladimir Kachalov told TASS on Friday.
The next-generation D-14 Shelest airdrop parachute system designed for jumps in the Ratnik soldier combat outfit principally differs from the previous systems. It is based on the strategy of going into battle immediately after leaping out of an aircraft, he said.
"In addition to body armor, a paratrooper has small arms on his chest, which are accessible to him and are in his hands. Previously, [they] were unavailable because a spare parachute was located in front and, naturally, an assault rifle was fastened from below and was beyond reach so the paratrooper could not instantly get hold of it," the designer said.
However, proceeding from the new concept, "a serviceman can actually go into battle already in the air," he added.
The tests for the D-14 Shelest parachute will begin at the Research Institute of Parachute-Making in the immediate future, he said.
The new system has quite a different layout, he explained. The standard system has its primary parachute in the back and the spare parachute in the front and the cargo container is in the back below the knapsack of the parachute itself. However, the new system has the main and spare parachutes in the back and the large cargo container, which is more voluminous by its volume and cargo weight, attached to the front.
Also, the new system has several hardpoints for attachable equipment, small arms and an extra cargo container, he said.
Russia is celebrating Airborne Force Day on August 2, the professional holiday of Russian paratroopers and their veterans.
The Russian Airborne Force’s birthday dates back to August 2, 1930 when a unit of 12 parachutists directed by military pilots Leonid Minov and Yakov Moshkovsky were air-dropped for the first time during an Air Force exercise by the Moscow Military District near Voronezh in south Russia. On this day, paratroopers traditionally demonstrate their skills while celebrations are held all throughout the country with concerts and other festivities.