Parachute assaults have been the exception, rather than the rule but paratroopers are still useful.
Airborne troops are the first “boots on the ground” in any crisis. This could be major combat or humanitarian relief. A brigade of paratroopers can deploy into anywhere in the world in as little as 18 hours as part of the Pentagon’s Global Response Force. It can take days to unload a heavy-lift helicopter. There were bad runways in Iraq in 2003 which would prevent heavy aircraft from landing.
A US parachute drop was used in northern Iraq in 2003 and by French forces in Mali in 2013.
Helicopters give troops tactical mobility. Paratroopers have strategic mobility thanks to the Air Force. The Army’s standard heavy-lift helicopter, the Chinook, can carry 30 troops 200 miles. An aerial refueled C-17 cargo plane can drop more than a hundred paratroopers thousands of miles from their home station.
The argument has been made that a drone can do everything that a soldier with a Jetsuit. This is true if the goal is to kill a known target. However, having a soldier, commando or sniper in a good position to observe and adapt to the situation has many advantages.
A soldier in a Jetsuit will take up the same amount of space in a cargo plane as a soldier with a parachute. The soldier or commando in a Jetsuit would be able to avoid misdrops. They could fly 10-20 miles. If the Jetsuit had wings they would be able to fly 50-200 miles. The Jetsuit paratroopers could rapidly reposition by flying at 80mph.
The Gravity Industries Jetsuit costs $250,000. The components do not seem that expensive. Mass production could bring the cost down to $20,000 to $80,000 each. Military parachute gear can cost $3000 to 10,000 each.
The Jetsuited soldier will be able to fly to a new position on top of a building or on top of a ridge. People can say but you would be able to hear them fly. If there are many soldiers then being able to hear someone move behind trees or buildings would not matter. They would then have the best vantage point to snipe at the enemy.
The Jetsuited troops would be able to move 10 miles in minutes. This is how much a regular soldier might walk in one day over terrain.
This would not become very common. It might only be used by a small percentage of Navy seal teams. Most of the time the US would stick with overwhelming an enemy with troops carried in helicopters.
SOURCES – Gravity Industries, War is Boring
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
15 thoughts on “Paratroopers Not Obsolete So Jetsuits Matter”
Enabling AMP probably had a lot to do with that. Nothing wrong with Blimp articles though. Would be nice to see an update regarding Sergei Brin's secretive blimp project near Google HQ…
I hadn't heard much of paramotoring soldiers jumping out of planes though. That seems a bit troublesome, since you would probably have to exit with the chute packed while wearing the propeller rig on your back.
Hrm, the DARPA Iron Man exoskeleton suit research may be relevant here, as they were working on compact power sources, such as the Liquid Piston engine. That could be used for paramotor propulsion as well.
Iran is enriching at 60%? Probably, and some of our intelligence community believe they already have nuclear weapons or the ability to break out within months. During the nuclear deal they did not, having sent their material to Russia. Then we reneged for pretext reasons unrelated to the agreement they signed with us, antagonizing them and showing that when the US makes an treaty/agreement that we may break it based on our election cycle and internal politics. This has the effect of making it far more difficult to reach treaties/agreements with other countries in the future. Iran may go the Israel route of not admitting they have nuclear weapons, when everyone knows they do as an open secret.
Iran is not "killing the USA" or anything of the sort. They have no ability to project power beyond regionally, and even that has sharp limits based on their regional rival countries and religious tensions. If it were not for our involvement in the middle east they would not even be on our radar. It is only because of that involvement and the interests of their regional rivals, our allies, that bring us into conflict. We have no direct interests that would otherwise bring us into conflict with them.
I have read other posts where you have made your antagonism towards the US abundantly clear. Do please try to go beyond though and make some kind of an intelligent point instead of throwing out useless comments with no convergence with applicable reality. Hope this example helps.
Switzerland is one of the most defense oriented countries in some of the most defensible terrain in the world. They have a very good military, have extensive underground bunkers to protect themselves from nuclear weapons, and arm their citizens as part of their military requirements. The military issues them their weapons to keep at home. They are not pacifists, and have a very lengthy military history. Even the Vatican uses Swiss guards.
I am not a fan of these for military operations because they tie up your hands. I prefer the Zapata hoverboard. If it was scaled up like the Green Goblin board in Spider Man it would equal the range, but be easier to disembark and also leaves at least one hand free if not both. It could also be easily coupled with parachutes, or operated as a drone weapons platform autonomously. With onboard weapons it would allow the soldier to use a grenade launcher to soften hot landing zones, i.e. Marines assaulting a defended beach.
Right… because human nature is so kind and trustworthy.
Switzerland has had the advantage of being a small player with a high cost to benefit ratio if anyone ever wanted to take them. Hitler left them alone and found it more useful to use them – along with Sweden – to obtain resources and move currency to the world market.
Well, that's it in terms of muscular strength, but not really in terms of coordination, unless you put the chairs on ball bearings. Sure, you can lock out your arms, but you still have to be controlling which way they're pointing.
The real strain isn't supposed to be supporting the weight, but maintaining control.
Why not just have no participation in war. Think Switzerland
I see these coming out of a SS nose on the way down.
Some kind of weird caching error
The effort is like supporting your body between two chairs that are back to back. This is based upon my interview with Gravity Industries founder and main pilot. Stand between the chairs, hands on the top of the them. Push yourself up. Not that difficult and you can lock out your arms.
Admittedly the "jet troopers dropping from an airplane part" seems feasible. I still think a drone-pack is more useful.
You can get most of that with a wingsuit with just enough propulsion to flare out and land. But, yes, I could see special teams coming in with these.
Paramotors can be made much quieter and far cheaper, and will do anything you mentioned that jetsuits can actually do (your claims are beyond what they can actually do). And in both cases, the soldier will need gear. Where is he/she going to put it? Easier to carry that with the paramotor. Jumping out of a plane or helicopter with a paramotor should be very easy as well. An electric paramotor with a quiet propeller should be reasonably quiet, and they can cut the motor for landing and avoid giving away their position. You need maybe 30 feet to land. And if you are landing into a 15 mph wind, 6 feet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gegu1RIlGt4
A paramotor is vastly more efficient, so there is a good chance they can get out of Dodge after they land and do whatever.
Jutsuits require intense physical effort lifting your body with your arms like doing a handstand on slick ice. No one is going to be able to keep that up flying 200 miles. Even 50 miles would be very taxing Add 130 lb of gear and flying 5 minutes would be a challenge.
Off topic… but thanks Brian for fixing the front page… It's really nice to not see endless blimp articles from years ago.
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