The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) decided to get "jet boots" for $ 10 million, along with maintenance for five years. They are produced by a small company Patriot3 Inc from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Jetboots Diver Propulsion System (Jetboots DPS), as “boots” are fully called in English, has nothing to do with real boots. Not even worn on the feet.
The system consists of three blocks. First of all, these are two powerful, low-noise, brushless electric motors, protected by hermetically sealed anodized aluminum housings. The motor shaft is fitted with durable nylon screws that rotate in protective aluminum casings with stainless steel meshes on both sides. Protective covers prevent injury to the swimmer. The thrusters are fixed on the diver's hips above the knees and do not interfere with movement on land.
The engines are powered by lithium-ion batteries placed on a special platform with latches on the diver's lower back. Batteries are designed to work up to a depth of ten meters. They can be changed directly under water, if suddenly there is not enough charge, or you can use more capacious batteries. The kit includes a special charger that can work in networks of 110 and 220 volts.
The control unit is fixed, like the batteries, on a belt and is a durable waterproof aluminum case. It controls the power of the engines and, accordingly, the speed of movement, which can be several times higher than the speed of a swimmer in fins. On the block there is a switch, a draft adjustment knob, as well as an LED battery status indicator. The backlight can be turned off when going to land, so as not to accidentally give yourself away.
Batteries, control unit and motors are connected by a power cable specially designed for use in aggressive sea water. The entire system resets with a single movement of the hand.
A special lever gives the diver the ability to adjust the deflection of the engines in a range of approximately 2.5 centimeters. Thus, while swimming, the direction of the motors can be adjusted to eliminate the deviations that cause fins or bending of the legs.
"Jet boots", in comparison with scuba divers with fins, significantly increase the distance that scuba divers can cover, and several times the speed of movement. At the same time, the system saves the strength and energy of people to perform the tasks.
The weight of the system is not reported. However, military personnel using Jetboots may not worry that under the weight of the system, as well as weapons and other equipment, they may sink to the bottom. The "jet boots" have a buoyancy adjustment system, like a submarine. It is enough to orally inflate or deflate two containers, similar to the air bubbles in fish, to obtain the desired buoyancy. The system can even be set up for movement in water without diving, and then it is suitable for crossing water barriers by soldiers who do not have any diving equipment. Jetboots are worn on any diving suit and on the usual field uniform.
Patriot3 started operations in Quantico, Virginia as recently as 2000. She chose the provision of equipment for special forces and law enforcement agencies as the sphere of her activity. The niche is narrow even for small businesses, you can’t really turn around. Well, how many “jet boots” and underwater navigation aids can be sold to agents of the American intelligence community, and how many automatic assault ladders, body armor and other ballistic protection equipment can be sold to police and FBI officers? The needs of these organizations are limited.
To overcome the narrowness of the market, the owners of the company took an aggressive trading position in foreign markets. The contacts of the owners in certain circles of the United States, from which they came out, helped - today the company already supplies its products and services to the special services of 25 countries.