U.S. Naval Special Warfare to Get New Covert Delivery Submersible
Posted by Joris Janssen Lok at 3/7/2008 3:32 AM CST
A new shallow water combat submersible (SWCS) capable of covertly delivering up to six special forces operators and supplies for three days â and then to bring them back to a ship of submarine waiting offshore: That is what the Naval Special Warfare Program Office in U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command is aiming to acquire in the coming years.
blog post photo
Artist's impression of the future SWCS shallow water combat submersible, as presented by Capt Sullivan at the AUVSI unmanned systems program review conference in Washington last week. Photo: Joris Janssen Lok
According to combatant craft program manager Captain Pat Sullivan, USN, naval special warfare is planning to build up an inventory of 10 of these submersible vehicles, with initial operational capability to be achieved in FY14 (October 2013-September 2014) and full operational capability two years later.
The new SWCS is to replace the currently used Mk 8 Mod 1 SEAL Delivery Vehicle, which can carry four people and supplies.
âOur development efforts are focused on a free-flooding SWCS that requires no external diver delivery system modification,â Capt Sullivan said at the AUVSI unmanned systems program review conference in Washington DC.
"The SWCS will fill our shallow water capability gap, provide increased personnel and payload capacity, feature improved propulsion and a sensor package plus updated electronics.â
A market survey has started in November with 15 responses having been received, and in addition to ten vehicles, there is also a requirement for a training simulator.
Capt Sullivan mentioned that in support of U.S. Naval Special Warfare capabilities, 17 Semi-Autonomous Hydrographic Reconnaissance Vehicles (SAHRVs, pronounced âsheriffsâ) have been acquired. Equipped with a side scan sonar, these have been fully operational since May 2003 and are used for hydrographic reconnaissance, denied area search and over-the-horizon navigation.
The âSheriffsâ have been upgraded with acoustic communications and will also receive INS/GPS as well as vertical and horizontal obstacle avoidance capability. Capt Sullivanâs office is working with the University of Texas to further develop this.
The nine-hour endurance is also to be extended, and for this Sullivan is working with the Office of Naval Research.
The SAHRVs, based on Hydroid Remus 100 autonomous underwater vehicles, can be launched from the Mk 8 Mod 1 SEAL Delivery Vehicle and can rendezvous with a docking station, says Capt. Sullivan.