The Indian Army is exploring the use of rocket packs to enhance soldiers’ mobility during deployments and provide a new mode of transport beyond the current vehicles in use. In January, the Indian Army invited tenders for the development of 48 jet packs, which could provide soldiers with a significant advantage on the battlefield. Although it is unclear which company will ultimately manufacture the ordered units, Absolute Composites has already showcased its rocket backpacks for military units at the Aero India 2023 event.
Rocket Backpack Suit Developed by Absolute Composites
Absolute Composites’ jet suits are based on the operating principle and shape of Jet Suits developed by Richard Browning. However, the structure has been modified to ensure that they are as safe as possible to use. The company’s founder, Raghav Reddy, revealed at the launch that the rocket backpack suit developed by the company weighs around 40 kilograms and is equipped with seven engines, two on the arms and three on the back. The device is diesel-powered, with a 30-litre fuel tank that provides a range of approximately 8-10 kilometres in a single session. Moreover, the wearer can travel at a maximum speed of 80 km/h at altitudes of up to 3,000 metres.
Advantages of Rocket Backpacks for Soldiers
While rocket packs may seem an unconventional personal transport solution, they can provide soldiers with significant advantages in certain environments where conventional vehicles are not viable. Rocket backpacks can enable soldiers to cross minefields, high ground, deserts, and open water quickly. They can also be useful in ship-to-ship situations, where the soldiers need to travel short distances from one vessel to another. Future developments may include the use of a helmet with a display that provides users with additional extra functionality.
Deployment of Rocket Packs for Soldiers: Challenges and Risks
The deployment of rocket packs for soldiers poses some challenges and risks. Rocket backpacks are not easy to control, and their use may require significant training and skill. Moreover, the use of rocket packs in crowded or urban areas may pose safety risks to soldiers and civilians. There is also the issue of limited fuel capacity, which may restrict the duration of the device’s use.
Conclusion: The Potential and Limitations of Rocket Backpacks for Soldiers
While the deployment of rocket packs for soldiers offers potential advantages in certain environments, it also poses challenges and risks. Therefore, it is essential to weigh the benefits and limitations of rocket packs carefully before deploying them for military operations. As with any new technology, thorough testing and safety protocols must be established before their use in combat. Nonetheless, the development of rocket packs for soldiers is an exciting innovation that may revolutionize how soldiers move and fight on the battlefield.