According to a report in The Hill newspaper, which we first linked here on SOFREP back in September, the Navy SEALs are in the process of procuring a new mini-submersible vehicle to complement (and one day, perhaps replace) their fleet of SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs). I thought I would go a little further in depth on these new mini-subs, since they are a significant new capability for the SEAL teams.
While SDVs are “wet” submersibles, meaning that the SEALs are exposed to the water during the entirety of their operation, and must breathe from a self-contained breathing apparatus while operating them, the new vessels will be “dry,” or pressurized in the same manner as a full-sized submarine.
The new dry submersibles should help keep the SEALs more comfortable in the course of their underwater operations, thus allowing for longer mission profiles, and access to waters possibly heretofore too hostile because of cold temperatures. This is where the new vessels are a value added for the SEALs.
According to The Hill, the new mini-subs will be called Dry Combat Submersibles, and will allow SEALs more effective inter-squad communications as well. Instead of the usual use of hand signals and unintelligible grunting throughout an underwater operation, which currently often defines underwater communications for the SEALs, the dry mini-subs will have an internal communications system for use by the naval commandos while in transit.