SRV1 NATO Underwater Rescue Vehicle

March 30, 2008: NATO has successfully completed tests of the NATO Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) [PHOTO]. This $95 million SRV1 is a deep water rescue device that can be airlifted to anywhere in the world on short notice, fit on the deck of at least 140 identified ships, and mate with the escape hatches on most of the worlds submarines. The SRV1 has a crew of three and can carry up to 15 men at a time to the surface. It can do this at the rate of four hours per trip (to allow for time to deal with decompression, battery recharging and maintenance.)

The system is shipped in eleven waterproof cargo containers, that can be flown by military or civilian cargo aircraft. Including flight time, set up time on the ship, and movement time to the site of the distressed submarine, the NATO SRV should be able to get there and have the SRV in the water within 72 hours. The SRV itself is 31 feet long and weighs 27 tons, and can go as deep as 3,000 feet (which is the maximum depth for most submarines.)

Britain, Norway and France cooperated to design and build SRV1. The U.S. is building a similar system, providing two rescue systems to deal with any of the several hundred subs in service, getting in trouble. The NATO SRV will be based in Clyde, Scotland and is managed by the UK Ministry of Defense.

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