The British Royal Navy has been making global headlines by testing the practical applications of cutting-edge flight alternatives. The footage currently being circulated depicts Royal Marines strapped up with jet suit technology courtesy of Gravity Industries to conduct visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operation exercises on the HMS Tamar – a Royal Navy Batch 2 Ricer-class offshore patrol ship.
The training event reportedly lasted three days and involved a total of 42 Royal Marine Commandos. According to Business Insider, maritime boarding operations of this nature are often 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 targeted ship.
While the benefits obviously include an added element of flexibility, allowing operatives to launch to the skies from land, ship, and so forth to drop a ladder during rescue scenarios or take that crucial kill shot during the more hostile brand of rescue scenarios, the jet suit is still very much experimental.
This overarching hope and vision of Gravity Industries is, however, 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.”
“This is increasingly seen as a revolution in tactical capability for many Special Forces and has much broader application beyond Maritime boarding,” notes Gravity Industries.
Watch the British Royal Marines test out the capabilities of a jet suit aboard the HMS Tamar in the video above + below.