According to a report from IHS Jane’s Navy International, a new maritime platform intended for special operations forces (SOF), and designed and built by SubSea Craft, has begun undersea trials as of mid-September 2017.  The Diver Delivery Unit (DDU) was displayed at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London, UK, from September 12-15, 2017.

Jane’s reports that the DDU performed surface trials in mid-2017, demonstrating its stability when operating at high speeds, but had yet to perform sub-surface operations prior to these undersea trials.  Such capability is critical for this hybrid craft, as it is advertised to have this capability in order to function as an insertion platform for SOF.

According to SubSea’s website, the DDU was designed specifically for SOF “rapid response littoral operations,” including surveillance, mine-countermeasures, anti-piracy, underwater survey, deployment and recovery of mission systems, and search and rescue.  The DDU was intended to “cross the surface at speed, and then transition to a submersible craft offering speed, depth, payload capacity, distance and stealth.”  The company claims the craft combines “exceptional surface performance with a transitional submersion mechanism and outstanding sub-surface maneuverability, speed and range.”

The DDU could feasibly perform well as a surveillance and intelligence platform, presumably, if one used their imagination, and envisioned a clandestine insertion, sensor placement, and long-duration intelligence collection mission for the craft.  SubSea does not thoroughly detail such a usage, per se, but it has no doubt occurred to some of the UK-based company’s potential customers.