The Torpedo SEAL: From The Movies To The Battlefield
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Revealed this week at DSEI, the world’s largest defense show, the Torpedo SEAL vehicle uses a submarine torpedo tube to deploy two divers.
It can be deployed from submarines and can carry one pilot and an additional warfighter and their equipment over 10 nautical miles.
James Bond was loaded into a torpedo tube and fired into the ocean in the 1967 film “You Only Live Twice” — and now amphibious forces like Navy SEALs are getting exactly the same tech.
Only this is no movie.
Revealed this week at DSEI — the world’s largest defense show — the SEAL Pod vehicles come in three different models for different missions: Torpedo SEAL Sub SEAL and the Sea Carrier.
Shooting SEALs from Torpedo tubes?
The Torpedo SEAL vehicle uses a submarine torpedo tube to deploy two divers.
Stowed and carried within a NATO-standard torpedo tube or beneath the submarine outer casing, it just needs to be extended and it is ready to use. Torpedo SEAL achieves speeds of about 4 knots with a lithium polymer battery and, depending on requirements, one or two thrusters.
This version is controlled by a single pilot and can carry one other warfighter and their equipment over more than 10 nautical miles when fully submerged.
The Steering Information Navigation Control system gives the warfighters real time communications, sensor and location information.
Why would you shoot SEALS out of torpedo tubes?
This sort of vehicle could be used for a wide range of purposes. It could be used to plant explosive devices or de-mine areas where adversaries have planted devices.
It could be useful beyond the self-evident amphibious forces. Special forces, law enforcement, counter-terrorism and border forces may also find the tech useful for operations like U.S. harbor protection and narcotics trafficking interdiction.
How about deploying SEALs from a submarine?
The Sub-SEAL version is larger, carries six warfighters, and can be launched from a surface craft or rotary-wing aircraft.
But it can also be deployed from underwater hangers attached to submarine casings.
Controlled by a pilot and navigator, these vehicles are operated underwater at depths of up to 30 meters. A vehicle like this would be used for missions where it is essential to stay submerged and deliver a team of six.
But if necessary, it can surface to communicate or for activities like reconnaissance approach.
Powered by lithium polymer batteries and a vectored-thruster, the Sub SEAL can sprint faster than seven knots and has a range of more than 70 km.
On the military front, it might be deployed for operations like mine countermeasures or anti-piracy, but it could also perform homeland security missions such as enforcing U.S. port protection.