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Royal Navy Tests Out Futuristic 'Iron Man' Style Jet Packs

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Royal Navy Tests Out Futuristic 'Iron Man' Style Jet Packs

The Royal Navy is eyeing up the possibility of using jetpacks that allow those wearing them to fly over the water - and they look absolutely amazing, to be fair. Watch them in action below:

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Gravity Industries, the company that makes the suits, shared footage of the jetpacks in action during a Royal Marines trial, which the suits were used to carry out a 'visit, board, search, and seizure' (VBSS) operation.

This involved being launched from inflatable boats to the Royal Navy Batch 2 River-class ship HMS Tamar.

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Currently, Marines will use one of the small fast boats to creep up on larger ships, and then - having to hook up a caving ladder from a helicopter onto the ship - their efforts are normally supported by snipers and drones.

However, thanks to the jetpack, a wearer can launch from a fast boat, land on a ship and then drop out a ladder for his fellow servicemen to climb on board.

The Royal Navy told Business Insider that the trial did not involve any Royal Marines getting to have a go of the new equipment themselves, but they did watch on as members of the Gravity Industries team showed them how it all worked.

Credit: Gravity Industries
Credit: Gravity Industries
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In a statement, Gravity Industries said it will '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'.

The company added: "This is increasingly seen as a revolution in tactical capability for many special forces and has much broader application beyond Maritime boarding."

The Royal Navy told Business Insider the technology is 'undoubtedly impressive' but there's no official decision on whether the military will purchase it or not.

One expert told the publication that the jetpacks are not ready to be used by the armed forces just yet.

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However, trial sponsor Lieutenant Colonel Will Clarke RM said the technology 'shows significant promise and we will watch its development with continued interest'.

This is not the first time the Royal Navy has been seen carrying out a bit of research into these Iron Man style suits - a similar test took place last year.

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The US Naval Institute shared footage of the tests online, writing: "The Royal Navy has been testing Jet Suit assault teams to determine if the Iron Man-like suits could be used to rapidly swarm and board ships.

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"US Special Operations Command is also evaluating a jetpack that can reach speeds of more than 200 mph."

Featured Image Credit: Gravity Industries

Topics: UK News, Technology

Claire Reid
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