The US State Department has approved the sale of three SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) MK 11 Shallow Water Combat Submersibles (SWCS) to the United Kingdom.
The contract is worth an estimated $90 million and includes spares, handling and test equipment, and program support.
According to the statement, the incorporation of the new system is not expected to be a challenge considering the UK Royal Navy’s experience in operating the predecessor system from dry-deck shelters on Astute-class SSNs.
SDVs are mini-submarines used to transport navy divers and their combat gear to and from hostile shores for special operations missions.
Teledyne Brown Engineering, the company responsible for the development of the MK 11 Shallow Water Combat Submersible under a contract from 2011, will be the prime contractor.
The MK 11 SWCS is replacing current MK 8 SDVs used by US Navy SEALS and the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service.
Phalanx close-in weapons system upgrade
The UK defense ministry has also requested the sale of a total of 50 upgrade kits which would bring the Royal Navy’s Phalanx close-in weapons systems to Block 1B Baseline 2.
Block 1B version introduces control stations that allow operators to visually track and identify targets before engagement. It also adds a forward-looking infrared sensor which allows the CIWS to tackle helicopters and high-speed surface craft at sea.
The contract for the upgrade kits and associated support is worth an estimated $75 million.