Russian Military Developing Parachutes for Skydiving Dogs
Technodinamika, a Russian state-owned aviation company contracted by Russia’s defense ministry to develop canine parachutes, confirmed Tuesday the project will reach a final stage of completion by the end of 2021, the Moscow Timesreported Wednesday.
“Technodinamika said Tuesday that it was in the final stages of testing Russia’s first canine parachute system. Footage broadcast on [Russian] state media Tuesday showed a doberman pinscher and a German shepherd flying from [an altitude of] 4,000 meters [about 2.5 miles] and making a soft landing in an open field,” according to the online newspaper.
Russia is testing dog parachutes as part of an attempt to develop technology to transport canines to rescue missions.
They will be used in places where it’s impossible to land a plane or a helicopter.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) July 7, 2021
“We are planning to complete the state trials at the Russian Defense Ministry’s State Flight Testing Center this year. Next year, this system will be actually accepted for deliveries to the Defense Ministry,” Technodinamika Chief Parachute Designer Alexei Kozin told reporters at a press conference in Moscow on July 6.
“The airdropping system for dogs will be unveiled to the public at large at the [Russian] Army 2021 international military and technical forum,” Russia’s state-run TASS News Agency reported on July 6. Russia’s 7th annual International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2021,” is scheduled to be held near Moscow from August 22-28.
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“Technodinamika’s parachute harness is designed for both single jumps involving dogs weighing up to 45 kilograms [about 100 pounds] attached to parachutists as well as tandem jumps involving a parachutist, a dog handler and the dog itself,” the Moscow Times reported on Wednesday.
A canine parachute tester for Technodinamika named Andrei Toporkov told TASS on July 6 “the dogs trained for the flight and withstand it well.”
Detailing his experience skydiving with the military dogs, Toporkov said:
While aboard an aircraft, they look through the window and examine the ground and clouds. They go through their exit from the plane easily and experience no problems with their free-fall. With its turns to the left and to the right, the dog watches the ground, and begins to make quick movements with its paws in an attempt to catch it.
Technodinamika has so far been limited to testing canine parachute landings from a maximum altitude of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) due to a lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, Russia’s state-owned Ruptly video news agency noted on July 7. The civil aviation group, part of Russia’s state tech corporation Rostec, plans to develop special equipment to supply canines with oxygen and facilitate jumps from higher altitudes, Technodinamika said on Tuesday.
“We are working on the possibility of airdropping dogs from an altitude of up to 8 km [kilometers, about 5 miles]. Correspondingly, special oxygen equipment will be created to enable a dog to breathe through the oxygen gear during an air jump. Our enterprise is carrying out this work jointly with associate contractors,” Kozin revealed at Tuesday’s press conference.
“The Technodinamika Group is developing this oxygen gear at its own initiative so far,” he added.