Lockheed Martin Will Build New Shallow Submarine For Navy SEALs

So they don't have to get wet

A Dry Manned Submersible

A Dry Manned Submersible

A submarine similar to this one will someday carry Navy SEALs on secret missions.Lockheed Martin

Traveling underwater offers Navy SEALs a lot of advantages. Troops are hard to see below the waves, and until they reach the shore they’re no louder than the ocean itself. The problem is all the water. The current “swimmer delivery vehicles” used by the Navy’s elite special forces require them to wear scuba gear the entire time, because they're exposed to the sea itself. A new submarine, from Submergence Group LLC and defense giant Lockheed Martin, will instead carry SEALS covertly, underwater, and inside an enclosed submarine.

It's called the Dry Combat Submersible. From Lockheed Martin:

Currently, personnel transiting underwater use the SDV to reach their final destination – the personnel are in dive gear and exposed to the undersea environment. DCS allows the personnel to get closer to their destination before they enter the water, and be more effective upon arrival. “Our advancements in undersea technologies will ensure personnel are equipped with technologically capable and adaptable systems that can easily be refreshed with the latest capabilities,” said Erika Marshall, general manager and program director at Lockheed Martin’s site in Palm Beach. “These reliable undersea vehicles will protect personnel, ensure they arrive ready to execute their mission, and return them safely.”

Lockheed's existing dry manned submersibles, the submarines likely most similar to this new one, can operate for over 24 hours underwater before running low on air, travel just over 5 mph, and carry enough fuel to go 70 miles. There isn't much known about the existing advanced swimmer vehicle, but both it and the Dry Combat Submersible are built to get SEALs close to shore in shallow waters.

Riding in a shallow-water submarine probably isn’t the most exciting thing a SEAL will do, but the key to a successful infiltration is avoiding excitement for as long as possible.

[via Gizmag]