SIG Sauer Academy

US Army Developing Parachutist Rucksack

Meet the MOLLE 4000. Developed by Natick Soldier Systems Center to satisfy a requirement for an airborne rucksack for the 82nd Airborne Division, it enters safety certification next month. Lead developer Rich Landry is a Veteran of the 82nd and has been instrumental in work on several airborne items over the years.


To create the MOLLE 4000, Landry combined the short MOLLE frame adopted by the Marine Corps but originally developed for Army paratroopers and created a new 4000 cu in bag for it. He also envisioned a new, removable single point release. This was the critical piece. Until now, you either rigged your pack with the Harness, Single Point Release, which is a separate item, prone to loss after a jump or you carried a pack with sewn-in air items. The latter option results in increased cost per pack and you are stuck lugging around the extra weigh whether you are jumping or not. Additionally, such specialty packs aren’t appropriate for issue to other forces due to that additional cost and weight. Instead, Landry has come up with a hybrid solution which quickly attaches and detaches from the pack. This saves both rigging time and weight, once he gets on the ground, for the paratrooper.

Bob Reinert of the Natick Public Affairs Office wrote a great story on the project. It’s definitely worth a read.


11 Responses to “US Army Developing Parachutist Rucksack”

  1. bulldog76 says:

    so it only took 70 years for the airborne it get it own rucksack again

    • SSD says:

      There are a couple of certified commercial packs available right now. A government pack would have been available years ago if the user community would have settled on a requirement. As it is, this pack won’t see general issue until 2017, at the earliest.

  2. Y.T says:

    Given the number of units on jump status, I’m surprised that this hasn’t received higher priority, especially given the expense and general frustration of maintaining air items, especially if you’re a company sized element on status within a larger non-airborne organization.

  3. TMedina says:

    They had to wait until they settled on a camo pattern first.

  4. James says:

    nice work Rich

  5. Rob says:

    There are a myriad of other packs that work. Adding webbing with the QD part is pretty easy & it can be leveraged to work with quite a few Molle packs. Kifaru, Arc’teryx ILBE, Eberlestock could all be used, in whatever configuration the mission required.

    Isn’t the point of the PALS grid / Molle design adaptability? I’ve seen pics of people jumping with Kifaru packs, the webbing to add QD to any pack shouldn’t cost more than $50 even after government nonsensical inflation…

  6. AbnMedOps says:

    I always thought the Parachutist Drop Bag (correct nomenclature?) was a great idea, but I don’t think I ever saw on when I was on status. Put anything in it, close it up, and good to go.

  7. SN says:

    The ST Community had their own sewn in setup in the late 90″s IIRC. The extra oz’s didn’t seem to be a problem then.

    • SSD says:

      I was never a huge fan of STRLLS. It had some fleas including being a dual release. Really more suited to free fall than static line jumping. I also remember a STO pulling the lowering line release and then when his ruck didn’t lower, pulling the pelican clips and cutting away his whole ruck at several hundred feet. As his ruck was filled with CCT “stuff” it was a very expensive mistake.