Shortly after the Dutch Marine Corps trialed the use of a jetpack suit that promises to help operators board vessels more quickly and efficiently, the UK Royal Marines used the same kit for the same purpose.
The trial saw patrol ship HMS Tamar and Royal Marines from Plymouth-based 42 and 47 Commando work with Gravity Industries to understand whether the company’s jet suit could be of use on military operations in the future.
Royal Marines did not use the equipment at any stage of the trial, and it was in the hands of Gravity Industries throughout the exercises in Plymouth Sound.
The trial looked at the utility of the jet suit – which allows the user to fly – in maritime boarding operations and the specialist vertical access techniques associated to them.
“While undoubtedly impressive, experts concluded that the kit is not ready just yet for military adoption,” the Royal Navy said at the end of trial.
The jetpack does make for cool video footage as the video shared by Gravity Industries, the maker of the jet suit, shows.
Marines use stealth and speed to board suspect vessels and are specialists in terrorist takedowns and anti-smuggling and piracy operations around the world.
The commandos work in small teams in fast raiding boats to board suspicious vessels with the help of maritime snipers in Wildcat helicopters and drones.
“The flight suit technology tested in this trial allowed the Commando Force to experiment with innovative methods of conducting maritime interdiction operations, and to gain insights into its potential to enable vertical access in the complex urban-littoral environment,” said Lieutenant Colonel Will Clarke RM, the trial sponsor.
“Whilst the technology may not be ready for military adoption just now, it shows significant promise and we will watch its development with continued interest.
“Furthermore, the trial is a clear example of the diverse efforts being made to enhance the Commando Force with the latest technology and to give it a competitive advantage over future potential adversaries.”