Real-life Iron Man returns to Royal Marines training base to beat assault course using jet suit

Iron Man today faced up to the Royal Marines as a former colleague turned jet suit inventor demonstrated his kit for commandos.

Ex-Royal Marines Reservist Richard Browning – nicknamed the ‘real-life Iron Man’ – flew a 1000bhp jet suit around the Royal Marines’ infamous bottom field assault course at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon.

Scores of fellow commandos watched 39-year-old Richard effortlessly overcome obstacles which are typically used to drill fitness into civilians as they are transformed into elite troops.

But he tackled the assault course in no time with the help of his jet suit, as part of a visit to the training base where he was once a trainee himself.

“Royal Marines are sometimes called ‘supermen’ for their achievements, but even we stop short at the ability to fly,” said Royal Marines Captain Oliver Mason.

It is an absolute honour to be invited as a guest at the King’s Squad passout parade, but to be back tackling that assault course with one of our jet suits is a day I won’t ever forget.

Richard Browning

“Watching Richard float, fly and hover around the assault course was a very impressive, surreal experience. “Imagine what we could do with these suits on the battlefield – although Royal Marines pride themselves on being stealthy and one thing the jet pack isn’t is quiet.”

Richard was also invited to witness a King’s Squad passing out parade – the graduation of the most senior troop of Royal Marines recruits.

Richard, the founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries, said: “It’s been at least a decade since I was last at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, when I was being awarded my coveted green beret.

“It is an absolute honour to be invited as a guest at the King’s Squad passout parade, but to be back tackling that assault course with one of our jet suits is a day I won’t ever forget.”

The jet suit uses five engines to generate 1000bhp and can cruise at speeds of more than 50mph.

Colonel Mike Tanner, the Commandant of the Commando Training Centre, said: "I was delighted to welcome Richard and his Gravity team to test his latest jet suit on our assault course.

"His endeavour to create this jet suit over two years is emblematic of the Commando mindset. I think it's fair to say we all wanted a go!"