May 19, 2024

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SOCOM Awards $10 Million Contract for Jet Boots for Special Operators

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  • US specific operators are investing in tech to give it an advantage from extremely capable adversaries.
  • US Particular Functions Command not long ago awarded a $10 million deal for jet boots to give its divers that edge.

With the US armed forces reorienting alone for a potential conflict with a hugely capable adversary, the US special-functions neighborhood is investing in capabilities and technology that would give it an gain in such a conflict.

A current expenditure is in a futuristic piece of technological know-how that would have a great deal of rewards for 1 of that community’s hardest occupation: beat diver.

Jet boots

In April, US Specific Operations Command awarded a $10 million deal to the Virginia-centered firm Patriot3 for the invest in and servicing of the Jet Boots Diver Propulsion Procedure. The deal is a “business-fixed-cost” agreement for the shipping and delivery of an indefinite range of jets boots up to 2027.

Jet boots use a battery pack and a brushless motor method to propel the diver. The boots have two thrusters on the facet of each and every leg that the operator can maneuver with their physique, liberating up their hands for other tasks.

Jet boots are primarily used by the Army Unique Forces fight-diver teams and Navy SEALs, and versions now in use can move a diver at speeds up to 4 knots even though letting them to be “absolutely peaceful” and conserve vitality.

The consensus between particular operators who have utilised jet boots is that the moment you get applied to them they are quite straightforward to use and run. For case in point, special operators making use of jet boots for the duration of go to, board, lookup, and seizure missions or maritime counterterrorism functions could get on goal more rapidly and be a lot more rested when they get there.

US Navy SEAL combat diver

US Navy SEALs navigate murky waters during a battle swimmer education dive, May 18, 2006.

US Navy/CPO Andrew McKaskle


The boots have benefits and disadvantages, according to John Black, a retired Green Beret warrant officer.

“Beat divers are recognized to and predicted to be capable to dive for quite lengthy periods of time and to swim for hrs on conclusion. Relying on the present-day of the drinking water and the tempo of the dive, this could leave the diver exhausted by the time he reaches the beach front. Then the diver is envisioned to perform a mission,” Black explained to Insider.

“Diving is a means of infiltration. The combat diver simply cannot be fatigued just from the infiltration,” Black extra.

Relocating as a result of the water with this kind of ease would be a terrific support to fight divers, but in some conditions, there is a draw back to minimizing exertion.

“In colder waters, making use of jet boots ought to be meticulously prepared,” Black stated. “A diver becoming motionless for an hour in cold water, whilst regularly breaking new drinking water, could depart the diver hypothermic. So it ought to be remembered that it is a device, not a car.”

An asset if used right

Becoming ready to go farther more rapidly and arriving fewer fatigued — and hence improved prepared — would be an asset to a fight diver crew and could make a distinction in between success and failure.

“They come with a hefty price tag, but you get amazing success. You have men carrying out 5-[kilometer swims] and utilizing hardly any oxygen and more importantly becoming absolutely rested and ready to go upon hitting the beach,” a retired Environmentally friendly Beret with substantial knowledge in fight diver operations informed Insider.

The Military Particular Forces operator spoke on the ailment of anonymity for the reason that of ongoing operate with the govt.

A key tenet of US exclusive functions is that “persons — not machines — make the critical difference,” and particular operators acquainted with the jet boots caution from relying far too significantly on technological know-how, as a badly picked and qualified commando won’t be as effective no matter of tools.

US specific-functions forces will go on to evolve along with their mission established, Black explained to Insider.

“If we assume our most effective fighters to go any where and do everything, they need to be geared up with the most up-to-date engineering and equipment,” Black mentioned. “I do see SOF groups utilizing these [boots] extra typically, however maintaining their core responsibilities and health and fitness at the foundation of anything they do.”

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in exclusive operations, a Hellenic Military veteran (countrywide service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Military HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.



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