Guardian® HLS Heavy Lift System Overview

Guardian® HLS

Pneumatic Heavy-Lift System

The Ultimate Heavy-Lifting Solution for a Highly Mobile Military Force

The Guardian HLS heavy-lift system is a pneumatic rescue and recovery system designed in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to lift armored tactical vehicles and other substantial payloads when the speed, timing, and accuracy of operations are crucial. Compact, portable, and easy to operate, the Guardian HLS heavy-lift system can be deployed quickly and provide immediate asset recovery and emergency response, ensuring the safety and success of the U.S. military’s various missions.

Guardian HLS Pneumatic Heavy-Lift Rescue and Recovery System

  • Extreme lifting force of the system’s battery-powered, pneumatic compressor lifts 45,000 lb of payload with only two airbags; only one airbag needed for lighter loads
  • Lightweight and man-packable for a range of operations, including dismounted rescue/recovery, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), and humanitarian rescue relief
  • Able to lift various payloads including military land vehicles, heavy machinery, fuel tanks, and other heavy assets in under 5 min (<1 minute to achieve wheels-up lift on Class 2 commercial vehicle)
  • Provides multiple lifts with one battery charge

State-of-the-art design provides instant, powerful lifting capabilities for superior readiness, utility, and security in crucial operations.

Rugged, Pneumatic Design for Quick, Powerful Lifts


Single-piston, pneumatic compressor fully inflates two 34-gal airbags in <5 minutes


Two-bag lift system delivers 45,000 lb in total lift capacity (22,500 lb per bag)


Made of durable Dyneema® UHMWPE fiber, the reusable airbags require only 3” of insertion space and provide 18” maximum vertical lift height when fully inflated

Streamlined, Portable & Economical


Full system comprised of four easy-to-assemble subsystems


Lightweight kit fits into a single backpack for easy transport


Low-cost, commercial 20/60 V battery for easy tool interchangeability


Only one person required for system operation

Quick-Deploy Capabilities


Quick-connect pneumatic hoses and valves for easy assembly


Rapid-deploy design enables quicker recovery missions to mitigate loss and extended exposure of assets to potential threats


Assists personnel with in-field repairs and servicing of vehicles during time-critical missions


Suitable for use in rugged, evolving tactical environments


The Guardian HLS heavy-lift system is uniquely equipped to enhance personnel safety and mission efficacy for both military and public safety segments:


  • Emergency Response
  • Combat search and rescue
  • Field logistics and maintenance assist
  • Common uses: Ground vehicle and asset recovery, structure collapse and heavy rescue extrication, and personnel extraction

Public Safety

  • Emergency response
  • Search and rescue
  • Field-vehicle recovery and maintenance assist
  • Common uses: Vehicular accidents, structural collapse and heavy rescue extraction, trench or confined space reinforcement, and people extraction

Guardian® HLS Technical Specifications


  • Single-piston compressor and removable COTS battery
  • Pneumatic hose assembly - Direction control valve, fill valve, and 3 quick-connect hoses
  • Heavy-lift airbags (2 per kit) - Made of Dyneema® multi-layered, Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber
  • Shipping case

Dimensions & Weight

  • Heavy-lift airbags: 34 gal each; ~3 lb per bag
  • Compressor with battery: ~14 lb
  • Packed volume of Guardian HLS system: ~700 in³
  • Total system weight: ~30 lb

Payload Capacity

  • Single bag: ~22,500 lb lift
  • Two bags: ~45,000 lb lift
  • Lift height: 18 in
  • Lift time: <5 mins to fully inflate bags (<1 minute to achieve wheels-up lift on Class 2 commercial vehicle)

System Operating Pressure

  • 60 psi

Power Requirements

  • COTS 20/60 V battery (compatible with most modern DeWalt tools for increased mission flexibility)
  • One battery equivalent to three compressed-air cylinders
  • Battery life indicator located on output-end of the compressor

Amazing, right?

See how Sarcos Robotics elevates the operational excellence of our military workforce.