The British Royal Navy has started trials utilising jet packs much like something out of a Marvel movie. In a video shared on Twitter by The First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, it shows the use of this new tech in aiding the men aboard a larger vessel.
The ‘Jet Suit‘ was made by Gravity Industries who released a video showing the Marines using the jet packs to launch from a RIB and land on the Royal Navy Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol ship HMS Tamar. According to Insider, the exercise lasted three days involving 42 Commando Marines exploring alternative boarding practices.
The operation shown in the video is a VBSS, which means ‘visit, board, search and seizure’.
A former US Special Forces officer told Insider that “VBSS is one of the most complex and dangerous” of maritime operations missions. Traditionally these operations are challenging as they involve marines coming along a ship in a fast boat and either hooking a caving ladder to the side or a fast-rope from a helicopter.
While this new jet suit is still experimental, it allows for the wearer to launch from a fast boat, land on the ship, and drop a ladder for others to use to climb aboard.
This was part of a trial, and the British Military have not yet decided whether they will be purchasing the technology.
The technology hasn’t only been used by the military, with other valuable uses being found for it as well. One such company that was testing the jet suit was the Great North Air Ambulance which would allow paramedics to quickly reach people in distress. This saves the large amounts of time to get to treating people in areas where helicopters would struggle to get to.
While this technology is still being developed, it might be very soon that it has widespread use, with the Netherlands military also trialing it.