The Army is adopting a new parachute.
Freefall parachutes aside, the history of the Army parachute has pretty much been one of evolution. The current T-10 and MC-1 parachutes differ little from the T-7 and T-5 that preceded them. Mostly it's involved improving the material the parachute is made of and updating the buckles and snaps. While diameters have varied, all have been parabolic in shape. The MC-1 stands out in that it is the only steerable parachute, but frankly, it looks like a T-10 with a couple of holes in it, and the reserve is....a T-10. Well, a T-10R, which a T-10 with some modifications to make it suitable for use as a reserve.
Even the absolute latest MC-1 is nothing more than the old MC-1 made with a lower porosity fabric in order to slow the rate of descent. The MC-1 is only used by special operations forces, which tend to jump heavier than conventional forces, so the lower rate of descent was much welcomed, even though it means a more potent opening shock. I got hurt and had to leave the Army before 10th Group moved to Colorado, but I understand the first year of jumping in the thin mile-high air wasn't much fun until the lo-po canopy came along.
By the way, the reason for the two canopies, the T-10 and the MC-1, is that the 82nd regularly fills the sky with parachutes. In that sort of situation steerable canopies could create catastrophic collisions. A Special Forces group jumps far smaller numbers--as small as 12 at a time, therefore they can afford the extra luxury of a steerable canopy. Out of nearly 100 jumps I have exactly four T-10 jumps. You make five jumps in Airborne school and of the five you get one MC-1 jump, so I have four T-10 jumps from Airborne school.
The new canopy, the T-11, definitely breaks the mold. This is revolution, not evolution. The new canopy has been a long time coming. According to "Air & Space" magazine, the T-10 was designed to handle a gross weight of 250 pounds, while modern paratroopers jump in weighing nearly 400 pounds. This has resulted in a rate of descent in the area of 24 feet per second. I've actually seen guys literally bounce when they hit--bad landing technique on their part, I know, but the fact is you do slam in pretty hard. The new parachute slows the rate of descent to 16 feet per second.
I gather there's yet another revamping of the MC-1 in the works as well. But anyway, here's the venerable T-10:
And "my" parachute, the MC-1 (by the way, currently both the T-10 and MC-1 have netting sewed around the bottom perimeter of the canopy to keep lines from sliding over the canopy and causing it to open upside down. Upside down won't hurt you, but the steering is backwards. I did that once with a square freefall canopy. It was benign, but disconcerting)
And now, the the new parachute, the T-11. This bad motorscooter looks nothing like its predecessors. It even has a slider to reduce opening shock, something that was once only found in freefall parachutes. (The slider is that piece of cloth over the parachutist's head. It slides down the lines, slowing the rate of inflation, thus reducing opening shock)
And the reserve parachute is a conical, another design that the Army has never used, although the Navy used conicals for years as aircrew survival parachutes.
Check out the details here