Batman gliding using a cape, similar to new British military surplus concept

It seems the SAS have got their very own Lucius Fox, as the elite unit are said to be testing gliding kits as an alternative to parachute jumps, allowing them to cover greater distances from an aeroplane.

This new form of military equipment means that an aircraft could drop soldiers as far as 30 miles away from their target, allowing them to glide into their LZ quickly and quietly.

Where the regular air assaults that take place require large (and very loud) transporter planes or helicopters, the fact that troops can be deployed from so far away removes this problem, meaning the SAS maintain the element of surprise.

It also allows the soldiers to travel toward their targets at a much lower rate of descent, where they can open their parachutes a mere 200 feet from the ground. They can then land and be ready for action within nine seconds of their parachute opening.

Because of this, the soldiers will need to stay much more streamlined through the air. Weapons and equipment have been adapted to ensure that this is a possibility.

A lightweight C8 assault rifle will be strapped to their sides during the descent, and a Glock pistol will be in a side-mounted holster. They will also carry fewer rounds of ammunition – just eight magazines of 30 rounds for the assault rifle.

They will also be equipped with a Kevlar helmet featuring HUD information and lightweight body armour to carry the ammunition, three grenades, small medical kit and a GPS.



Photo courtesy of BagoGames on Flickr, under Creative Commons