Feeds

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

May not be compatible with nuclear Stingray motherships

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.