Feeds

New airlock mini-sub for US Navy SEAL 'operations'

May not be compatible with nuclear Stingray motherships

New hybrid storage solutions

The US Navy SEALs, America's secretive frogman-commando elite, are to get a new and enlarged pocket submarine which will allow them to travel most of the way to an objective inside in the dry and then exit through an airlock before swimming on for their final approach.

Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

Ordinary "wet" SDV mini-sub in action.

The SEALs and comparable elite forces such as the British SBS have long used "wet" Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) to approach an objective below the waves, allowing them to move faster and further than an unaided frogman can. With a normal SDV, the frog-trooper isn't inside a pressure hull - he is immersed in the surrounding water. This can be a problem, as hours spent unmoving in cold water can sap the strength of even the steeliest underwater warrior. Hence the desire for a mini-sub with a proper pressure hull and an airlock, allowing attacking frogmen to travel dry.

For many years, the SEALs were known to be working on this via the so-called Advanced Swimmer Delivery System (ASDS). But the prototype ASDS was dogged by technical snags and never reached an acceptable standard of performance. It was sternly criticised by the US Government Accountability Office.

The coup de grace for the unfortunate ASDS was administered when it caught fire while stored ashore and was gutted. This left the SEALs reliant on their trusty 1970s-vintage open-water Mark 8 SDVs. (There was also a Mark 9, capable of firing torpedoes, but this was retired in the 1990s*).

Following the ASDS disaster it appeared that the US special-ops community would henceforth content itself with a new replacement open-to-the-sea SDV, somewhat modernised, under the name Shallow Water Combat Submersible.

However, this week brings an announcement by the US Special Operations Command that they intend next month to lease an S301 submersible from Virginia company Submergence Group, which also offers a two-man research sub. The S301 is to be delivered to the SEAL units at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, formerly the home of the ill-fated ASDS, and will "be used by field units for doctrinal, operational, and organizational purposes" - with "operational" being the most interesting word.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.