The flying warrior is already a reality. Special Forces of the Netherlands tested jetpacks

The flying warrior is already a reality. Special Forces of the Netherlands tested jetpacks
The flying warrior is already a reality. Special Forces of the Netherlands tested jetpacks
26 April 2021, 11:38Technology
For all the effectiveness of the new type of military equipment, it still has too many problems to start using it in the battle.

Victor Kuzovkov

For the first time, the Dutch naval special forces used the so-called "jetpack" in an exercise. During the training "liberation of a ship hijacked by pirates", the commando man was able to take off from a motor boat, fly to the ship, take part in the liberation operation, and then return back in the same way. All this was filmed on video and shown to the layman as an advanced solution in the development of military equipment. And at first glance this is really so...

But let's not jump to conclusions. First of all, we note that jetpacks, as a way of individual movement, have really made a big qualitative leap since their inception. If the first versions of this unit allowed to spend no more than 30 seconds in the air, and were used simply as demonstrators, then the novelty presented by the Dutch can boast about ten minutes of work - progress, of course, is colossal.

Let us also pay attention to the change in one of the main principles of control - if earlier the designers followed the path of creating very complex devices capable of providing both lifting and rectilinear movement due to one engine, now they have come to a rather simple and intuitive scheme, namely the removal auxiliary motors on the hands of the operator. Thus, it is possible not only to more effectively ensure the stability and maneuverability of the jetpack together with its carrier, but also to significantly simplify the system, abandoning various intelligent thrust control systems and the like. Indeed, now the problem of stability is solved simply by training the "pilot", and although it is obviously more complicated than learning to ride a bicycle, it is still quite understandable and well predictable process.

Of course, everyone immediately started talking about the fact that the infantry will soon become actually "flying". In the minds of many people, including specialized experts, a picture instantly appeared of itself - infantry units independently overcome problem areas of the terrain, fly into the enemy's rear and shoot him from above with small arms. In general, death, there is no salvation, we will all die…

In fact, the military of any country in the world has the temptation to invent and implement something "such", unprecedented and ultimatum. Look, even the rather peaceful Holland excelled. The problem is that these sweet dreams about the war of the future with flying Space Marines (the song of the unforgettable Sasha Cemetery "A Space Marine Fell on My Girlfriend" sounds here, and the author goes into a fit of frenzied sarcasm) and the infantry advanced to the point of improbability instantly crash against the cliffs of the simplest critical analysis , and nothing seems to be done about it.

Although, to begin with, we nevertheless agree that in almost all major armies of the world there is a steady trend towards the transformation of the infantry into an increasingly armed and independent branch of the armed forces. Moreover, yes, it is on an individual basis, without giving the infantry units separate specialized units. For example, a response to the development of armored vehicles was the appearance of grenade launchers and recoilless guns. They tried to stop the threat from the air with the help of MANPADS. Moreover, at the moment we are talking about the creation of ultra-small reconnaissance drones for individual use. It would seem that the emergence of individual means of flight fits perfectly into this trend. And the first one who solves this problem must throw caps into the air ...

The problem is that at the moment it has not been solved even close, and the flying special forces soldier from the Dutch video outlined only some potential opportunities, which are still very, very far from being implemented. In its current form, this model is absolutely incapable of combat, and now we will try to understand why.

First of all, as usual, "watch your hands". Yes, literally this time. The system, using literally “gloved” motors, requires the jetpack pilot to subordinate every hand movement to maintain stability and balance. But how to shoot, you ask? And no one knows this yet, because the choice "to shoot or stay in the air" in this case is fundamental.

Moreover, just holding small arms in this case becomes a problem - the palms must be free to change flight modes, "give gas" and so on, this is how this jetpack works and such is the price for simplicity and rationality. And if the designers manage to somehow solve this problem, we remember the impact. And this is very serious - for example, the use of rapid-fire aircraft cannons can sharply slow down a flying fighter or attack aircraft, so strong is the recoil in some cases. “So that's an aircraft cannon,” you say. That's right, but an infantryman, even in a body kit, is not a jet plane flying at a speed of under a thousand kilometers per hour. Therefore, just believe me, shooting from a submachine gun can in this case become a huge problem for a jetpack pilot - it is both a loss of speed and twisting in flight. Well, there is no need to talk about the accuracy of such shooting yet - a spread of tens of meters per hundred is almost guaranteed.

That is, the dreams of how the "winged infantrymen" will shoot enemies from the air, we definitely need to leave. But if only this...

Jet engines, even of relatively low power, are a very intense source of heat radiation. And they make such a noise that you can hear it from miles away. That is, there can be no question of any covert transfer of personnel to the enemy's rear with the current development of technology - a modern night vision device is several times cheaper than a flying knapsack, and is already used everywhere. Add to this sights, including sniper sights, capable of operating in the infrared range, and it turns out that a company of such jet infantrymen will be easily shot by a platoon of ordinary modern soldiers. On the march, so to speak. Without the slightest resistance. They shine like light bulbs and die like doves under a shotgun.

And if so, the meaning of this expensive innovation is completely lost. That is, it is suitable for anything, but not for military use in the army. Perhaps, with the appropriate desire and perseverance, we could find a use for them in the army, but somehow it all looks very, very modest. Transporting the injured from difficult terrain such as slopes for a year? Yes, may be. An emergency exit of the reconnaissance group from the enemy's territory, when it was discovered, surrounded, and only a jetpack abandoned by an airplane or a drone could leave a chance for salvation? Well, for extreme cases, this can probably be considered a viable option.

Everything else, if we are talking specifically about the use in the army, looks somehow doubtful, since it is almost always possible to replace this exotic means of movement with something more adequate. For example, the transport quadcopters being developed now may well evacuate the wounded from the battlefield, if the terrain allows it. They can also deliver ammunition, food, medicine and so on to the front line. There is nothing to say about reconnaissance - here the drone is several orders of magnitude better. Any air support to advanced units will be much more efficiently provided by a combat helicopter, and so on...

Of course, it can be assumed (albeit with some difficulty) that in the foreseeable future these problems will somehow be resolved. For example, the new control system will free the operator's hands, other engines will not be so noticeable in the infrared range, and instead of traditional assault rifles and machine guns, it will be possible to equip flying infantrymen with something more suitable, such as small-caliber rocket-propelled grenade launchers, etc. But in this case, the question remains - how much will such weapons cost? After all, even modern airborne troops cannot replace the infantry precisely because of the price of the issue - according to the apt expression of one of the military, why is there gold reinforcement in reinforced concrete?

Yes, the fact of the matter is that infantry units are the most massive type of troops. And we must be aware of the fact that we will equip hundreds of thousands of soldiers with flying backpacks, teach them how to use this vehicle, arm them appropriately, etc. probably not a single country in the world can. And at the moment, until the above problems are solved, hardly anyone will even think about it...

Probably, this area of activity still needs some research. In the civilian sphere, there are much more possible applications for jetpacks, this can be seen even without in-depth analysis. We can almost certainly say that they will be in great demand among rescuers, especially in mountainous areas. And extreme tourism will not bypass this novelty. Some of the jobs that are now being done by industrial climbers can also probably be done with a jetpack.

Separately, there is the issue of the possible use of jetpacks by special services, especially by anti-terrorist units. It is difficult to say what exactly they can come up with and how they will use them, but here it is important that the opportunity itself is always there. And there, as they say, according to the situation.

As for the rest, we probably shouldn't run ahead of the locomotive and be led to beautiful presentations. Just remember that in a real-life situation, acting against real, not fictional terrorists, a Dutch commando would surely be killed. And most likely, the first...

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