Watch: Royal Marine flies onto HMS Tamar using jetsuit
The Royal Marines has teamed up with British company Gravity Industries to successfully use a jetsuit to board an in-motion military ship.
The jetsuit was flown multiple times in an exercise meant to test its capability to support maritime boarding operations. The tests were conducted over three days by the Gravity team, including founder and chief test pilot Richard Browning, along with Royal Marines aboard HMS Tamar.
Maritime boarding operations, according to Gravity Industries, typically involve a fast rib boat moving closer and closer to a high-sided ship, and accessing it through a caving ladder thrown up and over the side. It’s a slow and shaky process, with the only alternative means of boarding involving the use of a helicopter. The use of the jetsuit would boost the speed of these operations, and enable access to any part of the ship, even letting pilots adjust where they have landed by simply taking off again.
According to Mashable, Gravity Industries has been testing the marine boarding ability for months, most recently completing a trial with the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force.
The company has also previously collaborated with the UK’s Great North Air Ambulance Service to test deploying airborne paramedics in search and rescue missions, enabling them to reach people in difficult terrain as quickly as 90 seconds — much faster and more specifically than a helicopter could.
Check out Marine Industry News’ previous footage of Gravity Industries and HMS Queen Elizabeth.