In a bid to increase tactical mobility along the Line-of Actual Control (LAC) amid border tensions with China, the Indian Army has started testing Jet Pack suits made by a British company Gravity Industries.
The army last month (January 2023) floated a Request for Proposal (RFP) for acquiring 48 Jet Packs with modern propulsion systems including Turbine engines, Electric and Hybrid systems.
JetPack suit is a turbine-based individual mobility platform, which can lift a man safely across varied terrain.
The Indian Army is currently engaged in the evaluation of these suits in Agra, in collaboration with Richard Browning, the test pilot of the suit and the founder of Gravity Industries, which designs these suits.
The suits according to the Army’s RFP should be able to fly with a payload of 80 kilograms with a maximum speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
It should also be capable of operating in the desert, mountain, and high altitude conditions up to an altitude of 3000 m.
The Indian and Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) are locked in border tensions since early 2020.
In June 2020, a violent border clash erupted between the Indian Army and Chinese PLA in Galwan valley of Ladakh, resulting in the loss of 20 Indian Army soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers.
Moreover, the Chinese are getting increasingly aggressive. Just last year (December 2022), the Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed in Yangtse area of Tawang sector of India’s Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian Air Force also have to scramble fighter jets when Chinese drones tried to aggressively move towards Indian Air Space.
These Jet Pack suits will help increase the tactical mobility of Army soldiers to reach forward posts easily.