Credible rumours are circulating that a covert operations JFD SEAL Carrier submersible Swimmer Delivery Vehicle will surface in London’s Docklands this week at the DSEI defence and security expo.
SEAL Carrier SDVs developed by JFD (James Fisher Defence), a company which has a history of submarine rescues, can transit at speeds of up to 30 knots on the surface before switching to submerged mode for a covert final approach; see the video below for more. In addition to a crew of two, the 10.5 metre long craft can transport up to six more combat divers or Special Forces operators. A built-in breathing system adds extra safety for the divers and enables an extended underwater range. Additionally, several quick mounts for a variety of weapon systems can transform the submersible into a combat craft.Persistent rumours suggest that UK Special Forces may have developed a new Joint Personnel Recovery force to support future aircraft carrier and amphibious operations and the JFD SEAL Carrier looks to be ideal for such a unit. Officially declared applications for the mini-submarine include:-
- Delivery of six-man combat team
- Host platform for autonomous underwater vehicles
- Remotely operated weapons platform
- Rapid rresponse anti-piracy craft
- Mine countermeasure operations
- Harbour patrol vessel
In addition to being transportable by surface vessels the SEAL Carrier, which weighs under 4.5 tonnes, can be air-delivered via a low level extraction drop and is even sufficiently light to be delivered by medium lift transport helicopters. Once in-theatre, it can approach its final destination on the surface, semi-submerged, fully submerged, or by a combination of all three methods.