New submersible Special Forces swimmer delivery vehicle

Versatile, cost effective, and often politically deniable, operations by special forces (SF) are an increasingly important part of the contemporary security scene.

Covert delivery of SF from seaward is often of great importance, with the trend being towards delivery vehicles capable of operating in both surface, and submerged modes. A typical maritime SF delivery profile involves a discreet underwater passage, followed by a rapid final approach, on the surface, to the designated area of operations.

Promoted at the recent Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London was Subsea Craft’s VICTA diver delivery unit. This 11.9-metre craft is constructed of advanced carbon fibre materials. There is internal space for up to six SF swimmers, or various combinations of swimmers and cargo. A crew of two pilots the craft, using a multiplex controller developed by Subsea Craft,

A Seatek waterjet-linked diesel engine enables a surface speed of more than 30 knots, while twin electric thrusters provide a submerged speed of eight knots, at a maximum depth of 30 metres. Range is 250 nautical miles. A transition time of two minutes from surface to submerged mode is claimed.

VICTA is transportable by sea, air and land.


Trevor Hollingsbee

Maritime security expert and columnist, Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police, Assistant Secretary for Security in the British Hong Kong Government Security Branch, and Intelligence Analyst in the UK Ministry of Defence. As an independent defence and security analyst he has had some 1,500 articles on maritime security, and geopolitical topics, published in a range of international journals and newspapers. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a past Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Hong Kong branch.