Royal Navy test Ironman-style jet suit at sea on Portsmouth-based patrol boat

COMMANDOS blasting off Royal Navy vessels and assaulting targets on land or at sea may sound like science fiction.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 7:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 7:34 pm
Real-life 'Ironman' flies from HMS Dasher in the Solent. Photo: LPhot Daniel Shepherd

But for the sailors on HMS Dasher, this space-aged dream was turned into a startling reality when they went to sea with Britain’s ‘real-life Ironman’.

The sailors on the P2000 patrol boat were joined by Gravity Industries as the tech firm sought to test its jet-powered body suit at sea.

Navy top brass is eager to see how the suit could be combined with its forces.

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Flying high: chief test pilot Richard Browning hovers above HMS Dasher. Photo: LPhot Daniel Shepherd

Commander Milly Ingham, commander of the 1st Patrol Boat Squadron, said: ‘We remain a forward-facing service, proud of our traditions but we continue to explore new ideas and concepts and push the boundaries of maritime warfare.

‘The opportunity to work with Gravity Industries has offered the chance to continue our support of the British science and technology industry.

‘P2000s are fast patrol boats with only a small landing area so it provided a challenge for the test pilot and the ship’s company very much enjoyed seeing the “rocket man” in action.’

Richard Browning, the founder of Gravity Industries and their chief test pilot, is also a former Royal Marines Reservist.

He carried out three test flights of the suit from Dasher as the boat moved at different speeds, managing to circle the vessel and land on the front of a support fast-boat nearby.

Speaking of the test, Richard said: ‘It’s a pleasure to be testing our suit with the Royal Navy, offering a unique opportunity to achieve another milestone in the development of our technology.’