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Local business gets contract with Canadian military

By Shelby Wye

A local Belleville company has been awarded a $3.6 million contract from the federal government to make parachutes.

The business is made up of 35 people, and there was no confirmation on whether or not this new contract will allow the hiring of more people.

Airborne Systems will be working with the Canadian military to make 600 T-11 parachutes and their accessories. These new parachutes will replace the ones currently in use.

Daryl Kramp, member of parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings, announced the award.

“It certainly is great news for Belleville. I’ve been on the shop floor here, and I’ve seen the talent and the commitment of the people here, and the pride that they take in their workmanship that shows in the award of this contract,” said Kramp.

Airborne Systems crafts parachutes, along with various other emergency safety equipment. Its customers include the US Department of Defense, along with search and rescue organizations.

Charles Matthews, the general manager of Airborne Systems, said that he is excited the company has been awarded with the contract to deliver the next generation of parachutes to the Canadian Forces.

“This contract does not only represent improved capabilities for the CF, but also jobs for the people that work here in Belleville.”

These new parachutes will prepare the Canadian Armed forces for any mission that may come their way. The T-11 parachutes have improved characteristics compared to the prior parachutes used. They have better opening characteristics, with a smoother opening and a slower, more stable rate of descent, said Matthews.

Kramp says the world out there is highly competitive, and complimented Airborne Systems on not only being competitive but also being able to deliver.