Manning Up Underwater Transport

Lockheed Martin developing underwater submersible vehicle for US Navy SEALS

 

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A Lockheed Martin-led team that includes Submergence Group, a leader in the design and development of manned submersibles, is developing a Dry Combat Submersible prototype vehicle to transport Navy SEALs directly to
underwater mission areas.

It’s back to the future for Lockheed Martin’s Palm Beach facility.

In the late 1950’s, John Perry founded Perry Submarine Builders, a company that would ultimately become part of Lockheed Martin.  Perry’s company designed and built the world’s first submarine that allowed divers to exit and enter while submerged.  The company became the leader in developing and building of manned submersibles.

Since the late 1980s, the facility has focused primarily on unmanned underwater systems, but with the recent contract award by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the Palm Beach team is returning to its roots.

Last month, USSOCOM awarded a Lockheed Martin-led team that includes Submergence Group LLC, a leader in the design and development of manned submersibles, Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding one of four preliminary design contracts to perform conceptual development of a Dry Combat Submersible (DCS) prototype vehicle. The DCS will transport Navy SEALs directly to their underwater mission areas, reducing swim time to enable them to be better prepared for their mission.

“Our experience in developing and delivering advanced undersea technology and manned submersibles allows us to rapidly provide USSOCOM with a conceptual design of an affordable, low-risk and mission ready DCS prototype.” said Richard Holmberg, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for mission and unmanned systems.

Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience developing and delivering advanced undersea systems and full ocean depth technologies. The Palm Beach organization has designed, constructed and delivered 28 manned submersible vehicles, more than 150 remotely operated vehicle systems capable of operations down to 20,000 feet and more than 130 dive systems and underwater manned habitats.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin has proven legacies in autonomous underwater vehicle integration and development with the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle, which serves as a crucial component of the Littoral Combat Ship’s mine countermeasures mission package. The Marlin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will soon perform offshore platform inspections for the oil and gas industry.

The team is leveraging its experience in developing undersea technology and integrating advanced systems for submarines, manned submersibles and unmanned underwater vehicles to develop the DCS.

Posted May 22, 2012