Commercial vessels have been prone to seizure by pirates worldwide has been an ongoing nightmare for special forces operators. There are a couple of ways to board ships, but one of the most innovative and fastest are with jetpacks.
Jet suit developer Gravity Industries released a 3-minute video Saturday of how jet suits used by the Royal Marines can make boarding operations seamless.
Powered by micro-gas turbine jet engines, the Gravity suit can propel a marine from a special operations boat to a much larger ship. In this demo, the mock operation shows a marine taking off from an all-black Zodiac and quickly boarding the HMS Tamar.
Upon landing, the marine hooks a ladder to the ship's side for boarding of special forces on multiple Zodiac vessels. Once the ladder is connected, the marine with the jetpack secures the area while his comrades climb aboard.
The only alternative is a noisy helicopter that pirates could shoot down with RPGs or assault rifles.
Jet suits are a highly disruptive technology that has certainly caught the attention of the Royal Marines. Other applications have been paramedics in England using the suits to respond to emergency calls in rugged areas in the Lake District region.