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British Royal Marines have been practicing boarding ships with futuristic jet packs that let them fly over the water like Iron Man.
The “Jet Suit” was made by UK-based Gravity Industries, which released a video Sunday that showed Royal Marines using the jet packs to launch from rigid inflatable boats and land aboard the Royal Navy Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol ship HMS Tamar.
The exercise lasted three days, involved 42 Commando Royal Marines, and explored alternatives to traditional maritime boarding practices, Gravity Industries said in a press release.
Maritime boarding operations, also known as Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations, are challenging and have traditionally involved troops coming alongside a ship in a fast boat and hooking a caving ladder or fast-roping from a helicopter onto the ship.
A former US Special Forces officer previously told Insider that “VBSS is one of the most complex and dangerous of MAROPS [Maritime Operations] missions,” explaining that it often requires special equipment and training to execute effectively.
With the jet pack, the wearer can launch from a fast boat, land on the ship, and then drop a ladder that others can use to climb aboard. Royal Marines can be seen doing exactly that in the video.
The jet suit is still experimental, but the vision “is to provide extremely rapid access to any part of the target vessel, instantly freeing up hands to bear a weapon, and even retaining the capability to relocate on target or self-exfiltrate,” Gravity Industries said in its press release.
In the video, one Royal Marine can be seen immediately disconnecting the arm-mounted jets and pulling out a ladder. After the ladder is secured, he pulls out what appears to be a handgun.
“This is increasingly seen as a revolution in tactical capability for many special forces and has much broader application beyond Maritime boarding,” the company added.
The new video from Gravity Industries is not the first time that people in jet suits have been seen flying around British ships. Last May, for instance, Gravity released a video of an operator flew from a fast boat onto a Royal Navy P2000 Patrol Boat during what the company called “assault trials.”
And about a week before that video came out, Gravity released another video showing someone wearing a jet suit flying around the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and practicing intercepting civilian vessels sailing nearby.
The new video from Gravity comes just a few weeks after the company released footage from a maritime boarding training exercise with the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force.
Outside of the armed forces, paramedics with Britain’s Great North Air Ambulance Service have looked into using jet suits for remote rescue operations, as the suits allow medical personnel to reach someone in distress in a hard to reach area much faster than they might otherwise be able to by some other means.
Gravity’s jet suit set the record for the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet-engine-powered suit, according to Guinness World Records.
The record was set by British inventor and Gravity …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Tech
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