Parachute Value Chain

Parachutes belong to the niche sector of Technical Textiles. They are included in the Sports Textiles segment of the Technical Textiles. Parachutes are commonly used on flights for adventure sports, emergencies, and protective purposes. 


The production of Parachutes requires precision and accuracy as it should match up with all high-quality parameters. The manufacturing of parachutes includes many intricate processes that contribute to making high-quality and visually pleasing parachutes for various purposes. 


What Are Parachutes?

A parachute is an object that introduces drag to decrease the velocity of an item as it moves through the air. Enlarging the surface area exposed to the air enhances air resistance and decelerates the object. Parachutes serve diverse purposes, from military operations to leisurely pursuits. In warfare, they ensure the secure landing of equipment and personnel. Moreover, they are utilised in thrilling outdoor activities like para jumping, paramotoring, paragliding, and skydiving. Not limiting their application to recreational activities, parachutes have also been employed in drag racing, aircraft, and even space exploration in recent times.


Product Category: Niche category product. Classified as Sports Textiles. Used for Specific Applications only. 


Benefits: Parachutes are used as a safety equipment and they provide safe conditions for the users when landing from mid-air.


Application Industry: Parachutes find Applications in Protective Textiles as military parachutes and in Sports Textiles for adventure sports. 


Duration of Product: Depending on end-use. Lasts for long and multiple usages. 


Market Size: The Parachute Market is expected to grow from USD 593.98 million in 2023 to USD 779.99 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 5.60% during the forecast period (2023-2028).




Parachute Market Trends: 

Parachutes have been widely used by military forces across the world. They were first used on a large scale during World War II for troop distribution and transportation. Paratroopers are often used in surprise attacks. Many countries have one or several paratrooper units, usually associated with the national Army or Air Force, and in some cases, to the Navy. Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, India, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, and Poland are among the few countries with parachute brigades that often take part in military parachuting drills organized in various countries. For instance, recently, about 100 Polish soldiers of the 6th Airborne Brigade and around 200 American paratroopers from the 319th Artillery Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade participated in the ‘Marauder-21’ exercises in north-west Poland. The Russian military recently deployed paratroopers from an altitude higher than Mount Everest. The troops used a novel parachute system in combination with oxygen equipment and navigation devices when jumping from the Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft. In mid-2020, with the increasing tension between India and China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) paratroopers held intensive tactical drills in Northwest China. A PLA Air Force airborne brigade of thousands of paratroopers maneuvered from Central China’s Hubei Province to an undisclosed location in the plateaus of northwestern China in just a few hours. Such deployments are expected to generate demand for the induction of new parachutes as replacement sales for inventory.


Parachute Market 

The Global Parachute Market is experiencing a significant growth from past few years and its expected that both Commercial and Military market will reach an estimated value of $320.26 million by 2027.The craze of aerial sports and war situations across the globe has led to sudden rise in demand for parachutes. The COVID-19 pandemic did hamper the Global Parachute Market, some suppliers and product manufacturers have seen a sharp decline in business and profit, but others have managed to sustain themselves although their wealth is dependent on the markets they serve and their ability to turn to products at once when suddenly in demand.


The Global Parachute Market is segmented according to Type, Application, Component and Region.


When a person is jumping out of a plane it doesn’t really matter what type of parachute that individual have got on his/her back, as long as it opens and gets that person back on earth safely. Although there are some parachute types such as Round Parachute, Ram Air Parachute, Rogallo-Wing Parachute, Ribbon and Rang Parachute and Annular Parachutes.



The parachute is a simple piece of technology with one simple purpose, that is to slow down the fast moving object or people by decreasing the rate of descent and increasing drag. The wide flat expanse of fabric catches the air and pulls back on the object or subject to which its attached. The devices used in number of different settings and application ranging from military to commercial purposes and are further classified into some other applications like Rescue and Recovery, Aero Sports, Break Chutes and Cargo carrying.



The Parachute market has been divided into canopy, cords, tapes, webbings, and metal. The canopy segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the review period. The cords segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the review period. This can be attributed to the increased demand for lightweight nylon kernmantle cords.


Competitive Landscape

The parachute market is highly competitive, with several notable vendors competing for market share. The presence of tight safety and regulatory rules in the defense sector is projected to limit new vendor entry. The economic conditions in leading areas such as Asia-Pacific and Europe significantly affect the sales of technology-based platforms such as parachutes.

As a result, during an economic crisis, purchases may be delayed or canceled, resulting in relatively sluggish adoption and a negative impact on global market dynamics. Business uncertainty may also be induced by failures or delays in acquiring export permits and certifications, harming vendors’ operations and operational performance.

The providers intend to invest substantial resources and effort to capitalize on parachutes’ competency and increase their penetration in the continually changing market segments of the worldwide commercial and military parachute industry. Diversification of regional markets, in parallel with product offers, is estimated to be a critical requirement for long-term profitability and survival. 


Latest Developments in the Global Market

Lockheed Martin was granted a USD 62 million contract in July 2021 to supply parachutes and drag chute systems for the F-35 Lightning II combat planes. The contract is for the procurement of 190 parachutes and 56 drag chute systems for non-DOD participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) clients.

To avoid the possibility of premature reserve activations, the US Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) tested the new T-11R Single Pin Troop reserve parachute from both rotary and fixed-wing high-performance aircraft in January 2021. Successful testing is estimated to make mass induction of the reserve parachute possible.


SWOT Analysis


Parachutes are used for military and sports activities. They have properties like strength of fabric, durability, tear resistance, elasticity. They have properties like waterproof nature, water resistant, fire resistant, with zero porosity (will not allow water or air through). It can also come with a favourable strength-to-weight ratio.


The parachute requires large fabric, which makes it heavy. This can hamper its functionality. The production costs are also high as it is a niche product.


The increasing interest of people in adventure sports has opened up new markets for parachute manufacturers. With many people trying out adventure sports requiring parachutes, the production demand is increasing day by day. 

Apart from this the demand for military and civil parachutes is also increasing due to the ongoing wars and conflicts on the global level.


The regulations and safety standards are revised periodically. If these are not followed the product can be rejected. 

With many global players in the market for parachute manufacturing, local manufacturers have a lot of competition. 


Raw Materials

Parachute canopies were first made of canvas. Silk proved more practical because it was thin, lightweight, strong, easy to pack, fire-resistant, and springy. During World War II, the United States could not import silk from Japan, and parachute manufacturers began using nylon fabric. Nylon’s superiority over silk lies in elasticity, mildew resistance, and affordability, making it better suited for various uses. Though Dacron and Kevlar have recently gained traction in parachute canopies, nylon remains the favoured choice. More specifically, parachutes are made of “ripstop” nylon woven with a double or extra-thick thread at regular intervals, creating a pattern of small squares. This architecture prevents minor tears from spreading.


Other fabric components, such as reinforcing tape, harness straps, and suspension lines, are nylon. Metal connectors are made of forged steel plated with cadmium to prevent rusting. Ripcords are made from stainless steel cables.






  1. The nylon fabric is laid out on a lengthy surface and then sliced to match the pattern shapes. The cutting process can be automated with a computer-assisted tool or performed manually with a circular electric knife.
  2. Four trapezoidal panels are sewn together to construct a wedge-shaped “gore” about 13 ft (3.96 m) long. A two-needle industrial sewing machine stitches two parallel rows, maintaining uniform separation between the rows. To provide adequate strength and enclose the raw fabric edges, a “French fell” seam is used; an extension on the sewing machine folds the cloth edges as a highly skilled operator feeds the material through it. Depending on the parachute’s specific design, a few gore sections may be sewn using mesh rather than ripstop nylon fabric for the largest panel.
  3. Several gores (typically 24) are sewn together, side by side, to construct a circular canopy. The seams are sewn in the same way as in Step 2.
  4. Every panel and seam is carefully inspected on a lighted inspection table to ensure that the seams are correctly folded and sewn and that the cloth has no flaws. The canopy is rejected if any weaving defects, sewn-in pleats, or an incorrect number of stitches per inch are found. The problems are recorded on an inspection sheet and must be repaired before additional work is done.




  1. Two additional rows of stitching secure a tape of equal width to every radial seam, mirroring the original seam. This tape strengthens the canopy.
  2. The top of each gore is a few inches (several centimetres) wide; after the gores are sewn together, their tops form a small open circle (the vent) at the centre of the canopy. To strengthen the vent and prevent the fabric from unravelling, a four-needle sewing machine wraps the cloth around the webbing and sews four parallel rows simultaneously.
  3. The bottom of each gore is 2-3 ft (0.5-1 m) wide. Sewn together, these edges form the canopy’s outer edge (the skirt). This edge is concluded in the same way as the vent, as in Step 6.
  4. Each radial tape on the skirt is securely attached with a short reinforcing tape, folded outward in the shape of a “V” from the canopy. A specialized automatic sewing machine designed for this specific operation is used to sew precisely the same number of stitches in the same pattern every time.
  5. One end of a 20 ft (6 m) long suspension line is threaded through each V-shaped tab, distributing the load from the line to a section of the skirt hem. Using a special zigzag pattern that is both strong and elastic, the suspension cord is sewn to the canopy’s hem tape and the canopy seam for a length of 4-10 in (10-25 cm).
  6. Once the canopy has 24 suspension lines sewn, an additional 12 apex lines measuring 1 ft (30 cm) in length are sewn to the central vent similarly. Each line is attached to a V-tab on one end, then crosses the vent to the opposite seam where the other end is connected with a V-tab.



  1. To ensure proper functionality, the suspension lines of the canopy must be tied to steel connector links on the harness without any twisting or tangling. Attaching the lines to their correct sequential positions on the connecting links of the harness and ensuring that the lines are straight is called rigging the parachute. The line can be knotted at the harness link or threaded back inside like a “Chinese finger trap.”
  2. To keep the attaching knot or finger trap from untying, the end of each suspension line is zigzag stitched to the main section of the line.
  3. Every assembly operation, every seam, and every stitch is reviewed for completion and correctness. Once the parachute is approved, it receives a serial number, the production date, and a final inspection stamp.
  4. A parachute rigger licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assembles the parts (e.g., canopy, suspension lines, pilot chute) and carefully folds and arranges them in the pack, securing it with a suitable activation device such as a ripcord.


Quality Control

Parachute manufacturers must comply with federal regulations set by the FAA, ensuring that their quality control systems meet civil and/or military equipment standards. Aside from the illuminated inspection tables, various testing equipment like tensile test machines, permeameters, and basic measuring devices are utilized. These tools assess fabric and seam strength, air permeability levels, and stitch count per inch.




Top 10 Manufacturers 

The top leading companies in the Parachute Market (by revenue) are as follows: 


  • Airborne Systems
  • FXC Corporation
  • Zodiac Aerospace
  • Performance Designs 
  • Aerodyne Research
  • Para Gear
  • Mills Manufacturing
  • Aviator Gear
  • BAE Systems Plc
  • Raytheon Company


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