American defense contractor Lockheed Martin has received a contract to build Dry Combat Submersibles (DCS) designed to transport personnel to their mission sites while submerged.
Under the terms of the $166 million U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) contract, Lockheed Martin will, together with Submergence Group, build as many as three DCS vehicles over the next five years.
Lockheed Martin says these vehicles have longer endurance and operate at greater depths than swimmer delivery vehicles (SDV) in use.
The vehicles will weigh more than 30 tons, be launched from surface ships, and be able to travel long distances underwater.
Currently, personnel transiting underwater use the SDV to reach their final destination – the personnel are in dive gear and exposed to the undersea environment. DCS allows the personnel to get closer to their destination before they enter the water, and be more effective upon arrival.
“These reliable undersea vehicles will protect personnel, ensure they arrive ready to execute their mission, and return them safely,” Erika Marshall, general manager and program director at Lockheed Martin’s site in Palm Beach.
Work will be performed in Plymouth, United Kingdom, and Palm Beach County, Florida.