Royal Marines

Navy and Marines test 'game-changing' ship-boarding jet suit

Personnel have been exploring how jet packs can propel someone through the air to land on a vessel.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines from 47 Commando and 42 Commando have been testing jet suits on HMS Tamar designed for airborne boarding.

The technology has been described as "game-changing kit" by the First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin.

In a Royal Navy video, a marine in a jet suit takes off from a fast rib and flies through the sky to land on the deck of the patrol ship off the coast of Plymouth.

The 1,050-brake horsepower jet suit was developed by the company Gravity Industries, whose founder Richard Browning is a former Royal Marines reservist.

Last summer he carried out a trial of jet pack technology with the Royal Navy's HMS Dasher and has also tested its use for the Great North Air Ambulance Service to reach people in the rugged Lake District.

The head of the Navy has said that the kit was “game-changing”.

The jet suit can reach speeds in excess of 80mph and is technically capable of reaching an altitude of 12,000ft.

Lieutenant Lucy Robus, Executive Officer HMS Tamar, said: "We've been working with 42 and 47 Commando working on their high vertical access boarding techniques.

"We've also been lucky enough to be involved in several of the upcoming and emerging technology trials... working with gravity to assist in the possible future boarding techniques."

The suit's boarding capability was tested using HMS Tamar, which has since set sail for a final major maintenance period before her next overseas operations to the Asia-Pacific.

The River-class vessel was recently given a 'dazzle' makeover, featuring various shades of black, white and grey in a number of shapes, ahead of her leaving Falmouth.

The paint scheme was often used by Royal Navy ships during the First and Second World Wars, and will eventually be applied to the entire Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel fleet.