When you are a rich and famous multi billionaire the range of ‘toys’ on offer is amazing, but are any of them useful in a defence context?
Just for fun…
The Migaloo Submarine
I did wonder at the name but the Migaloo is a step up from the various small submersible now available for the luxury market. It must be stressed that the Migaloo is only a collection of nice graphics but Starkad stress it has been designed to US Navy standards, for what its worth.
The Migaloo is marketed as a submersible yacht, which I think is an important distinction. It is not designed for especially deep diving but to have bags of space inside its wet and dry hangars, and of course, luxurious accommodation.
A submersible vessel designed for maximum payload and shallow diving (low visual signature), is an interesting concept for special forces uses against our most likely future enemies i.e. those without sophisticated anti submarine capabilities.
Read more here
A bit too ridiculous, how about something from U Boat Worx
OK, so the whole submarine aircraft carrier idea might be a bit too ‘out there’
The Quadrafoil is an all electric small watercraft that can cruise at 20 knots, has a range of 100km and emits very little noise.
Yours for a little over €20k
Damen/AMELS Yacht Tender
Something a little larger?
The latest in the range is the Sea Axe 6911
The SEA AXE 6911 offers the ultimate technical area for serious superyacht helicopter operations – a LY3 / MCA fully certified helideck with fully enclosed hangar. Or, for the true dive enthusiast, the space below the helideck can also be fully kitted-out with a 45.50 square-metre professional dive centre.
|Length overall||69.15 metres (227 feet)|
|Beam overall at hull||11.5 metres|
|Draught (Full Load Midship)||3.65 metres|
|Gross Tonnage||App. 1,200|
|Maximum speed||18-20 knots|
|Range||4,500nm @ 16 knots|
|Deck space (cargo)||250 m2|
|Deck crane||12.0 tonnes at 5.00 metres
6.0 tonnes at 11.5 metres
|Helicopter max take-off weight||5,000 kg|
The helicopter and hangar arrangements are innovative, although limited to lightweight helicopters like the AW109 or similar.
Again, this may have applications in low intensity maritime security operations.
After many years of failing to sell their Ripsaw vehicle to the US military, Howe and Howe have repositioned it as a luxury high speed off road ‘tank’ for the leisure market.
Would be great as a recce vehicle, as long as one accepts not seeing anything except a blur.
The Martin Jetpack
Perhaps the ultimate boys toy is the jetpack. There have been many attempts at a working practical jetpack going back decades but the New Zealand company, Martin Jetpacks, might actually crack it.
The Martin Jetpack is a disruptive technology, much like the helicopter was when first developed, with substantial capabilities and is able to be flown by a pilot or via remote control. The Jetpack can take off and land vertically (VTOL) and because of its small dimensions, it can operate in confined spaces such as close to or between buildings, near trees or in confined areas that other VTOL aircraft such as helicopters cannot access. Martin Jetpack has been designed with safety in mind and for easy adoption, with pilot qualifications easy to obtain. The Jetpack is “fly by wire” so unlike other aircraft including helicopters it is relatively easy to operate and with its ballistic parachute system that can safely recover the aircraft from a few meters above the ground it will be one of the most safe light aircraft on the market. Martin Jetpack’s capability gives it a competitive advantage in key markets: first responder, military, commercial and recreation. As a heavy lift Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle (UAV), the Martin Jetpack has a significant operational advantage being able to carry commercial payloads of up to 120kgs unlike Quadcopters which are limited to only a few kilograms.
|Type||Class one microlight|
|Depth (m)||1.75 (pilot module)|
|Aircraft empty weight||200kg (manned)|
|Max aircraft take-off weight||320kg|
|Payload at full fuel (Pilot + Equip weight)||120kg|
|Engine||200hp, 100hr TBO, low vibration|
|Fuel capacity||45 litre|
|Endurance (flight time)||30 minutes + Reverse|
|Maximum airspeed||40kts (74km/h)|
|Cruise speed||30kts (56km/h)|
|Ceiling||3,000 ft AMSL|
|Recommended cruise height||500ft and above per aviation authority regulations|
|Take-off wind limit||15kts gusting +/- 5kts (28km/h +/- 9km/h)|
Surely better than a quad bike.
Actually, this might not be as madcap as first thoughts, a similar system called the Malloy Hoverbike from Berkshire is being seriously looked at by the US DoD.
Want to have something for the land, sea and air, the Jetevator ticks all the boxes.
Not sure there is any military utility here though :)
Am sure there are many more!