DCS: The US Navy's New Dry Combat Submersible

Category Engineering

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The US Navy has developled a new mini-submersible for covert operations called the Dry Combat Submersible (DCS) which is significantly different from the other submersibles currently used by the Navy. This new submersible is capable of diving, travelling and carrying personnel much further than before whilst also being much drier and safer. The DCS will have a wide range of uses for US Navy SEALs and could potentially transform the way special ops forces operate in the future.

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After decades of waiting, the United States Navy Seals are finally to receive a "dry" mini-submersible for covert operations. Called the "Dry Combat Submersible," or DCS for short, this new tiny sub can transport a handful of Navy Seals operatives to and from shore in complete secrecy. While the Navy Seals do operate small submersibles at present, these operate completely flooded during operation, meaning the crew must wear scuba gear and are often exposed to frigid water for long periods of time.

The DCS is capable of diving up to 100 meters (330 ft) deep

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the DCS, announced that the DCS has reached its initial operational capability (IOC) with the Navy. In May, John Conway, the program manager for Undersea Systems within US Special Operations Command's (SOCOM) Program Executive Office-Maritime (PEO-M), stated that the initial DCSs would be operational by the end of the month. Lockheed Martin has delivered two DCSs to the Navy so far and is currently working on a third unit.

Previous reports suggested that the Navy's latest SEAL Delivery Vehichle Mk 11 can transport a crew of two with six passengers

"The Lockheed Martin team is proud of the work that has gone into the development and delivery of DCS and supporting USSOCOM to this IOC milestone," Jason Crawford, senior program manager for Manned Combat Submersibles, said in a statement. "We look forward to delivering the third DCS and supporting DCS into Full Operating Capacity," he added.

The DCS was developed based on the design of the S351 "Nemesis" mini-submersible by MSubs in the UK. Since 2016, Lockheed Martin has been leading a team that includes MSubs in the design and construction of the DCS.There is limited information available about the DCS's dimensions and abilities, as you'd expect, but its predecessor, the S351, weighs 30 tons (27, 215kgs) and is 39 feet (11.88 m) long. It is powered by an all-electric propulsion system that allows it to travel up to 66 nautical miles (72.2 km) at a speed of about five knots (1. 85 kph). It can also go as deep as 330 feet (100 meters). The "Nemesis" requires a crew of two people to operate and has room for up to eight other individuals or cargo weighing up to one metric ton.

The DCS also contains a lock-in/lock-out chamber which reduces operator fatigue

When compared to previous reports, it seems that the Navy's latest SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), known as the Mk 11, is approximately 22.5 feet (6.9 m) in length and can transport a crew of two along with six passengers. This submersible is also referred to as the Shallow Water Combat Submersible (SWCS) and is not pressurized, which limits its maximum diving depth in comparison to the DCS.

The DCS will be a valuable tool for the Navy and its SEALs, as it reportedly contains a lock-in/lock-out chamber on top of the hull. This feature is especially important, as the current SDVs used by the Navy are "wet" submersibles that require their occupants to be fully exposed to the water during transit. This can lead to discomfort and fatigue, even in regions with warmer temperatures. The DCS addresses these concerns, reducing operator fatigue and mitigating potential health risks.

The DCS weighs 30 tons (27, 215 kgs) and is 39 feet (11.88 m) long

"The Dry Combat Submersible has the potential to transform undersea warfare for speciall ops forces by providing a covert, dry-hulled midget submarine for their operations," explained Reed Shaffner, vice president and general manager for undersea mission systems at Lockheed Martin.

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