The US army simply awarded a $10 million contract for what might be particular operators’ newest gadget: jet boots

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Army Special Forces combat diver

A US Military Particular Forces fight diver off the coast of Washington, August 14, 2014.US Military

  • US particular operators are investing in tech to offer it a bonus towards extremely succesful adversaries.

  • US Particular Operations Command just lately awarded a $10 million contract for jet boots to offer its divers that edge.

With the US army reorienting itself for a possible battle with a extremely succesful adversary, the US special-operations group is investing in capabilities and know-how that may give it a bonus in such a battle.

A latest funding is in a futuristic piece of know-how that may have a variety of advantages for certainly one of that group’s hardest job: fight diver.

Jet boots

In April, US Particular Operations Command awarded a $10 million contract to the Virginia-based firm Patriot3 for the acquisition and upkeep of the Jet Boots Diver Propulsion System. The contract is a “firm-fixed-price” settlement for the supply of an indefinite variety of jets boots as much as 2027.

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Jet boots use a battery pack and a brushless motor system to propel the diver. The boots have two thrusters on the aspect of every leg that the operator can maneuver with their physique, liberating up their arms for different duties.

Jet boots are primarily utilized by the Military Particular Forces combat-diver groups and Navy SEALs, and variations at present in use can transfer a diver at speeds as much as 4 knots whereas permitting them to be “fully relaxed” and preserve power.

The consensus amongst particular operators who’ve used jet boots is that after you get used to them they’re very simple to make use of and function. For instance, particular operators utilizing jet boots throughout go to, board, search, and seizure missions or maritime counterterrorism operations might get heading in the right direction quicker and be extra rested as soon as they arrive.

US Navy SEAL combat diver

US Navy SEALs navigate murky waters throughout a fight swimmer coaching dive, Might 18, 2006.US Navy/CPO Andrew McKaskle

The boots have advantages and disadvantages, in line with John Black, a retired Inexperienced Beret warrant officer.

“Fight divers are identified to and anticipated to have the ability to dive for very lengthy intervals of time and to swim for hours on finish. Relying on the present of the water and the tempo of the dive, this might go away the diver exhausted by the point he reaches the seaside. Then the diver is anticipated to conduct a mission,” Black informed Insider.

“Diving is a way of infiltration. The fight diver can’t be exhausted simply from the infiltration,” Black added.

Shifting by the water with such ease can be an awesome assist to fight divers, however in some circumstances, there’s a draw back to minimizing exertion.

“In colder waters, utilizing jet boots have to be fastidiously deliberate,” Black stated. “A diver being immobile for an hour in chilly water, whereas continually breaking new water, might go away the diver hypothermic. So it have to be remembered that it’s a device, not a car.”

An asset if used proper

With the ability to go farther quicker and arriving much less fatigued — and thus higher ready — can be an asset to a fight diver group and will make a distinction between success and failure.

“They arrive with a hefty price ticket, however you get superb outcomes. You have got guys doing 5-[kilometer swims] and utilizing barely any oxygen and extra importantly being fully rested and able to go upon hitting the seaside,” a retired Inexperienced Beret with intensive expertise in fight diver operations informed Insider.

The Military Particular Forces operator spoke on the situation of anonymity due to ongoing work with the federal government.

A main tenet of US particular operations is that “folks — not tools — make the essential distinction,” and particular operators accustomed to the jet boots warning towards relying an excessive amount of on know-how, as a poorly chosen and skilled commando will not be as efficient no matter tools.

US special-operations forces will proceed to evolve together with their mission set, Black informed Insider.

“If we count on our greatest fighters to go anyplace and do something, they have to be outfitted with probably the most up-to-date know-how and tools,” Black stated. “I do see SOF groups utilizing these [boots] extra usually, nevertheless maintaining their core duties and health on the base of every thing they do.”

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a protection journalist specializing in particular operations, a Hellenic Military veteran (nationwide service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Military HQ), and a Johns Hopkins College graduate.

Learn the unique article on Enterprise Insider



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