Dropped from a military aircraft or released from the hull of a sub, this sleek carbon-fibre speedboat races along the water at 40 knots before turning into a submarine at the flick of a switch and diving to nearly 100ft.
This state-of-the-art, 39ft-long vessel named Victa is designed and manufactured by British company SubSea Craft in Havant and is set to be tested by British Special Forces in the Persian Gulf.
The craft is controlled by a two-man crew and can carry an additional six commandos all of them equipped with diving gear as the cockpit floods when the vessel dives underwater.
When underwater a pair of marine propulsion 20 kW electric thrusters provide forward propulsion at speed up to 8 knots. The craft will be “flown” whilst submerged, with roll and pitch control through forward and aft hydroplanes. 4 Copenhagen thrusters are mounted vertically for accurate slow speed depth control.
The craft is fully fly-by-wire, with an advanced control system developed in-house using the experience gained from previous America’s Cup and Princess Yachts projects. The control system manages the dive and surfacing and provides all propulsion controls. VICTA’s hull is constructed from carbon fibre and Diab core to yield an efficient strength to weight ratio design. The hull can withstand the wide range of surface and subsurface loads that are dictated by the mission profiles.
For decades, we’ve been waiting for a vessel to be developed which is effective on the surface of the water and below. The enemy won’t be able to see or hear us coming. Given the threat to British ships in the Strait of Hormuz, its arrival is very timely Royal navy source
With Hull construction completed the company have scheduled fit-out and dry trials running on through early 2020 before it moves into sea trials by mid-2020.