The British Royal Marines are testing a new toy: a jet pack that can fly as fast as 80 mph and as high as 12,000 feet. And it looks like a lot of fun, at least for the more adventurous among us. It only lasts for about 10 minutes, but might be useful for what the British Royal Marines refer to as “opposed boardings.”
The normal procedure for boarding hostile vessels is to approach it with a “RIB” (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and a lightweight rope ladder, or use a rope from a helicopter. The jetpack would make the procedure quicker, depending on the weather.
The developer of the Daedalus jetpack is Gravity Industries, inventor/founder Richard Browning, 42, a former British Royal Marines reservist. It can carry a person aloft for about 10 minutes with a 1,000 horsepower backpack. It only costs a mere $400,000. Cheap for something that looks like part of an Iron Man movie.
It’s just like riding a bike, so easy when you get the hang of it. Honestly, there is no effort. It works by thrust. When you bring your arms down you go up, and you flare your arms out to come down. It’s that simple.Richard Browning (Fox)
Simple unless you have trouble chewing gum and flying at the same time.
As far as the height capabilities of the Daedalus jetpack, it’s generally known that rising to 12,000 feet without oxygen is not a problem unless you’re a smoker, but being aware of the effects of hypoxemia is always important. (Plane and Pilot Magazine)
For the Royal Navy’s latest jetpack test, a Royal Marine took off from a special platform on the bow of a RIB and flew to the bridge wing of HMS Tamar. Once aboard, he affixed and deployed a ladder for the use of his teammates. The flight operation was conducted in flat calm conditions, and it took about 15 seconds from launch to landing…
In a second test, the marine flew back to Tamar, deployed the ladder and drew his sidearm in a defensive posture. Trailing the straps of a special harness, he took off from the bridge wing again and flew to the stern.
In the third and final test, three jetpack operators flew in and landed on the stern at the same time, arriving in a coordinated manner from different directions.Maritime-executive.com
The British Royal Marines have been testing such jetpacks since 2019. Some have questioned whether it has any military application, but being able to land like Iron Man on a vessel that is hostile could be helpful. The date of deployment of these jetpacks for the British Royal Marines is under wraps.
When can our US Marine Corps get these?
Featured photo: Screenshot via British Royal Marines
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