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 Miniature Submarines, Useful for Recon, Special ops ?
Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 12:13 PM


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Used in WW2, seems that this idea is coming back.
http://www.ussnautilus.org/museum.html

Iran commissioned their second homemade mini Submarines
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/462-3054.aspx
Jan 2006


Iran Receives More Mini-Subs

December 5, 2006: Iran has put two coastal submarines into service. Apparently with technical help from North Korea, Iran is building these mini-submarines for operations along its coasts, and throughout the Persian Gulf. Four have been built so far. The sub has a two man crew, and can carry three divers, or several naval mines, or a torpedo. The Iranians say they will use the mini-subs to lay mines or launch underwater commando attacks. While the North Koreans provided some technical assistance, the Iranian sub is a local design, smaller than most North Korean mini-subs, which is a reflection of the more turbulent seas found off the Korean coast. In the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf, the Iranian minisubs (which look like an enlarged torpedo, with a glassed over cockpit in the front), can be very difficult to detect. Their range is probably a few hundred kilometers, more than sufficient to reach any targets in the area. However, the United States Navy has spent a lot of time and effort on the problem, and is probably better prepared to deal with minisubs than most navies. North Korea has a fleet of over 60 mini-subs, and apparently Iran wants at least a few dozen.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/art...aspx?comments=Y

This post has been edited by Callsign 24 Seira on Jul 16 2007, 03:42 AM


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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 12:15 PM


Callsign 24 Sierra
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Little Subs for Commandos
July 10, 2007: Iran is not happy with the mini-submarines they have built, with North Korean help, and have ordered four North Korean minisubs, which are supposed to be delivered this month. These small boats are used to deliver commandos, or stealthy attacks on enemy (U.S.) warships.

Last year, Iran put two more of their own mini-submarines into service. Four have been built so far. This sub has a two man crew, and can carry three divers, or several naval mines, or a torpedo. The Iranians say they will use the mini-subs to lay mines or launch underwater commando attacks. While the North Koreans provided some technical assistance, the Iranian sub is a local design, smaller than most North Korean mini-subs, which is a reflection of the more turbulent seas found off the Korean coast. In the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf, the Iranian minisubs (which look like an enlarged torpedo, with a glassed over cockpit in the front), can be very difficult to detect. Their range is probably a few hundred kilometers, more than sufficient to reach any targets in the area.

North Korea has a fleet of over 60 mini-subs, and apparently Iran wants at least a few dozen. North Korea got the idea for minisubs from Russia, which has had them for decades. The most recent Russian minisub design is the Piranya. This is a 200 ton, 93 foot long boat with a max surface speed (on diesel) of 14 kilometers an hour. Using batteries, max underwater speed is 12 kilometers an hour. Max range is about 1,800 kilometers, cruising on the surface at about 7 kilometers an hour. Under water, max range is 460 kilometers at the same speed. The Piranya has a crew of three and can carry six divers. There are two cargo containers built on the deck, that can be used to carry two mines, two torpedoes or diver equipment.

An Italian firm makes similar mini-subs, which have been sold to Pakistan. Since China does a lot of business with Pakistan and North Korea, some of that Italian technology has probably made its way to North Korea. There, North Korea has developed several mini-sub designs, most of them available to anyone with the cash to pay. The largest is the 350 ton Sang-O, which is actually a coastal sub modified for special operations (it can carry about 30 armed passengers.) The most popular model is the M100D, a 76 ton, 58 foot long boat that has a crew of four and can carry eight diver and their equipment. The most novel design is a submersible speedboat. This 40 foot boat looks like a speedboat, displaces ten tons and can carry up to eight people. It only submerges to a depth of about ten feet. Using a schnorkel apparatus (a pipe type device to bring in air and expel diesel engine fumes), the boat can move underwater. Nine years ago, a South Korean destroyed sank one of these. If these are the mini-subs Iran bought, they could be flown in. Otherwise, the North Korean boats will have to be brought in by sea, which could lead to a confrontation with American or NATO warships off the Iranian coast.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/arti...aspx?comments=Y

2 Pixs of a model of Iranian Nahang class subs.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/242875/mess...hang+class+subs

This post has been edited by Callsign 24 Seira on Jul 15 2007, 12:18 PM


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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 12:28 PM


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British Midget Submarines 1939 - 1952

No history of Barrow-built submersibles would be complete without reference to the Royal Navy's midget submarines and it is true to say that Britain, although one of the last countries to be involved with midget submarine construction, made the most impressive use of this type of vessel.


• Navy planned Midget Submarine to plant Atomic Bombs in Russia
• The Midgets- a breed of their own
• Bill Morrison

http://www.submariners.co.uk/Boats/Barrowbuilt/Midget/



This post has been edited by Callsign 24 Seira on Jul 15 2007, 12:29 PM


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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 12:29 PM


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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 12:56 PM


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Russian miniature submarines
Project 865 Piranya, Losos Class

Designed for special operations and to engage surface ships located offshore, the Piranya is toughly built and is almost completely silent. The hull is comprised of a titanium alloy, that reduces the effectiveness of enemy mines. Divers can be deployed on sabotage missions. The divers remain in contact with the submarine, which is capable of supplying them with oxygen for breathing, electricity, warmth, and monitors to ensure that underwater instruments are operating normally. The Piranya’s 1200 kW lead-acid batteries allows the submarine to remain underway for ten days and the submarines at sea replenishement capabilities allows the submarine within 8 hours to receive enough food, fuel and lubricants, and air for an additional ten days.
In 1991 the St. Petersburg-based Special Boiler Design Bureau (SKBK) completed development of the Kristall-20 AIP system for the Piranha. The AIP underwent comprehensive testing and was accepted by the customer - the Ministry of Defense.
However, AIP systems were never installed in submarines due to reductions in defense spending.
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/row/rus/865.htm



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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 01:15 PM


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US Navy miniature nuclear sub, the NR-1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NR-1_Deep_Submergence_Craft
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/nr-1.htm
The Deep Submergence Vessel NR-1 is a unique US Navy nuclear-powered ocean engineering and research submarine. Casually known as "Nerwin," it was built by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics at Groton, Connecticut. It was launched on 25 January 1969, completed her initial sea trials 19 August 1969, and is homeported at Naval Submarine Base New London. It was never named or commissioned. The United States Navy is allocated a specific number of warships by the U.S. Congress. Not only did Admiral Hyman Rickover not want to "use up" one of those authorizations, but he also wanted to avoid the oversight that a warship receives from various bureaus.

The NR-1 performs underwater search and recovery, oceanographic research missions and installation and maintenance of underwater equipment, to a depth of almost half a nautical mile. Its features include extendable bottoming wheels, three viewing ports, exterior lighting, television and still cameras for color photographic studies, an object recovery claw, a manipulator that can be fitted with various gripping and cutting tools and a work basket that can be used in conjunction with the manipulator to deposit or recover items in the sea. Surface vision is provided through the use of a television periscope permanently installed on a fixed mast in her sail area.


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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 15 2007, 10:24 PM


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US Seal Delivery Vehicle SDV

Submarines have long been used for special operations - carrying commandos, reconnaissance teams, and agents on high-risk missions. Most special operations by U.S. submarines are carried out by SEALs, the Sea-Air-Land teams trained for missions behind enemy lines. These special forces can be inserted by fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter, parachute, or surface craft, but in most scenarios only submarines guarantee covert delivery. Once in the objective area, SEALs can carry out reconnaissance, monitoring of enemy movements or communications, and a host of other clandestine and often high-risk missions. Nuclear-powered submarines are especially well-suited for this role because of their high speed, endurance and stealth. U.S. nuclear powered submarines have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to carry out special operations involving many swimmers. During exercises, which include Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps special operations personnel as well as SEALs, submarines recover personnel who parachute from fixed-wing aircraft and rappel down from helicopters into the sea, take them aboard, and subsequently launch them on missions. These Special Warfare Team Missions include:

Combat Swimmer Attacks
Reconnaissance and Surveillance
Infiltration/Exfiltration Across the Beach
Beach Feasibility Studies, Hydrographic Survey, and Surf Observation Teams in support of amphibious landing operations.


http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/seal_sdv.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/sdv.htm



SECRET DELIVERY: Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS)
A mini-sub that can transport up to 16 Navy SEALS with stealth and speed, the ASDS is the first of its kind to provide a comfortable, and perhaps more importantly, dry ride for the elite SOCOM forces.

http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,1463...h_ASDS,,00.html



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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 16 2007, 03:27 AM


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S Korean Mini Subs

SX 756 Dolphin mini-submarine
The South Korean Navy operates six or eight Dolphin class mini-submarines. These SX 756-class midget submarines are based on the Italian Kosmos design. These mini-submarines are otherwise very poorly attested, and essentially no details are publicly available.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/rok/dolphin.htm



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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 16 2007, 03:40 AM


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Italian Mini Submarines

(Naval)
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/wor...istan/mg110.htm
The Naval Special Services Group (SSGN), numbering 1,000 marines, is responsible for conducting unconventional operations at sea and along the shoreline. Delivery or insertion of maritime special forces includes fixed- wing/helicopter low-level parachuting, light craft beaching and underwater conveyance, for which the navy operates at least three Cosmos Class MG110 miniature submarines (SSI) and some swimmer- delivery vehicles.
On the basis of design developed by PN Dockyard, this type of mini submarine has been constructed at PN Dockyard. These mini-submarines can be used for various purposes like attacking enemy units in harbour with Frogmen/Charriots, at sea with torpedoes, at shore installations by commandos etc. other uses include mine laying, defensive barrier in shallow waters, advance pickets duties, intelligence gathering etc.
Although the Italian Navy pioneered the use of human torpedoes (known today as swimmer delivery vehicles or SDVs), in today's Italian Navy there are no midgets. However Cosmos of Livorno has sold a number of midgets abroad. The SX 404 type sold to Pakistan in the early 1970s have been replaced by three [or possibly four] Italian-built SX-756-class midget submarines, delivered in 1988. These displace 40 tons and are capable of diving to a depth of 100m. They can carry six swimmers and two SDVs, as well as 2 tons of explosives.

Italian Mini Submarines
(Civilian)
http://web.mac.com/nus2/iWeb/GSE/GSE%20Designs.html

http://web.mac.com/nus2/iWeb/GSE/GSE%20Home.html
The VAS submarine is both USCG and CISR compliant which means the diving crew and passengers can board the submarine in the open sea in complete safety and leave the submarine as soon as it has surfaced, avoiding the boredom and stress of transit, launch and retrieval. It also features 96-hours of emergency life support (in addition to it’s 8-hour mission time) which is 33% more than international requirements.

The VAS minisub offers a range of up to 50 nautical miles at three knots, or 15 miles at six knots. Thus, the submarine does not need to be launched right on the diving site, nor be retrieved onboard at the end of each dive. It is the only recreational submarine that can carry out visual and instrumental searches, as well as the safe launch and retrieval of SCUBA divers. Additionally, the VAS can be towed on the surface at up to 8 knots, allowing you position the VAS above the dive site
http://web.mac.com/nus2/iWeb/GSE/GSE%20VAS.html



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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

― Guy de Maupassant
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MilFan
Posted: Jul 16 2007, 10:48 AM


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There's a lot of commercial developments that are very promising and radically out-of-box compared to mil grade designs. Some of these are meant for much deeper and more treacherous depths, and can easily find a military application
with modifications.

Nyutco Research is one of the trailblazers

Unshackled from inept military program control and fattened traditional contractors, the commercial sector has been lightyears ahead in innovation.


Exosuit Swimmable ADS

The exosuit has self-contained life-support, it could be an escape system, or a one-man delivery system for infiltration and sabotage.

user posted image


Pressure Hull/ Spacers:
Composite Fiber with metal inserts plus titanium and/or aluminum spinnings.

Life Support:
Two cylinders carried externally; 02 portside and diluent gas starboards, or both 02, both air or both bottom mix (depending on suit model)

Viewing:
Tear-drop shaped, acrylic dome port.

Manipulator:
Basic pincer manips or four-fingered prehensor "hand".

Communications:
UQC and 27 KHZ wireless - VHF-surface Sub-surface - UQC and 27 KHZ

Models:
Tech, military, science: self-contained, autonomous and free-swimming.
Commercial, surface-oriented: air supply from surface (LP compressor or HP cylinders), hardwire comms, surface air power positive displacement pump-down system (patent applied) with double acting pressure joints.

Submarine escape:
minimum joints, double-acting joints, small storage package. Escape depth to 1200 ft (365m).

user posted image



NUYTCO Deep Worker


user posted image
DeepWorker

Vehicle Specifications:
Length: 8.25 ft. (2.4 m)
Beam: 5.3 ft. (1.6 m)
Height: 4.5 ft. (1.35 m)
Weight in Air: 1.75 tons
Operating Depth: 2000 ft. (600 m)
Payload: 250 lbs (114 kg)
Life Support: 80 man hours
Max Speed: 3 knots
Crew: 1 pilot
Power: 12 KWH (6-8 hour dive duration)


Nuytco Research Ltd. is a world leader in the development and operation of undersea technology. Nuytco and its sister company, Can-Dive Construction Ltd. have over thirty years experience working around the world. Nuytco designs, builds, and operates atmospheric diving.

In 1997, Nuytco designed and manufactured a 2000-foot micro submersible Deep Worker, which is a revolutionary deep diving system that has been called an underwater sports car.

user posted image
Dual Deep Worker


...
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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jul 16 2007, 11:04 PM


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Sweden Special Operations Submarines
Sea Dagger Series


The Sea Dagger series of submarines are special operations vehicles developed by Kockums of Malmo, Sweden, now owned by HDW of Germany. The small stealthy submarines are tailored for five types of missions: attack; autonomous swimmer delivery; surveillance and minehunting; and as a target vehicle for antisubmarine warfare exercises and training.
The Sea Dagger variants are constructed from three modules, the bow and stern modules and one chosen from four specific mission module options. The submarines are small, with displacement in the range of 55t to 72t, a length of between 16 and 20m, a height of 3.6m and a diameter of 2.5m.
The four variants of Sea Dagger are equipped with sonar, communications systems, and a comprehensive navigation suite including a navigation computer, a gyroscope compass, speed log, depth gauge, echo sounder, global positioning system, navigation radar and optronic mast.

PROPULSION
The diesel electric engine provides a surface speed of 6 or 7 knots according to the submarine configuration, and a submerged speed of 8 knots. The operational endurance is eight days (five days for the Advanced Target Submarine). The range is 2 x 350 nautical miles at 4 knots (3 knots for the ATS), and 70 nautical miles under battery power at 4 knots (35 nm at 3 knots for the ATS). The surface speed is 7 knots and the underwater speed 8 knots. The operational endurance is eight days (five days for the ATS).

SEA DAGGER SMALL ATTACK SUBMARINE
The Small Attack Submarine has the capability to carry and launch externally stowed weapons. A range of half-length anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapons and mines can be carried. The submarine is operated by a crew of four, with two combat system operators. The rescue chamber can accommodate single escape or lockout.
The attack submarine is fitted with passive, intercept and obstacle avoidance sonar. The communications systems include VLF/LF, HF, and VHF antennae, internal and external communications, an underwater telephone system and a diver communications system.
The submarine's combat systems include a command and control system, electronic support measures, two external torpedo tubes and a weapons launching system.

SEA DAGGER AUTONOMOUS SWIMMER DELIVERY VEHICLE (ASDV)
The ASDV Autonomous Swimmer Delivery Vehicle carries, delivers and retrieves combat swimmers. The operational endurance is eight days. The vehicle carries no external weapons.
The submarine is operated by a crew of four and can accommodate up to six divers. A lockout chamber allows four divers to exit simultaneously.
The ASDV has passive, intercept and obstacle avoidance sonar. The communications suite includes a VLF/LF antenna system, HF and VHF antennae, external and internal communications, underwater telephone system and a diver communication system.

SEA DAGGER ADVANCED SURVEILLANCE VEHICLE (ASV)
The Advanced Surveillance Vehicle is equipped for surveillance and minehunting operations. An electronic support measures system is installed on the submarine. The communications system provides transfer of surveillance data. The submarine is operated by a crew of four, with two surveillance and minehunting system operators.
The submarine has passive, intercept and obstacle avoidance sonar. The communications systems on the surveillance vehicle are VLF/LF, HF and VHF antennae, external and internal communications, underwater telephone and diver communications.

SEA DAGGER ADVANCED TARGET SUBMARINE (ATS)
The Advanced Target Submarine, ATS, provides a target vehicle for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training primarily for littoral warfare training. A variety of signatures and target signal strengths can be generated by the target simulator. The ATS is operated by a crew of three and the operational endurance is five days.
The Advanced Target Simulator is equipped with an obstacle avoidance radar, a VHF antenna system, external and internal communications and an underwater telephone system.

http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/dagger/



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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Aug 21 2007, 01:01 AM


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India To Buy Commando Sub

Posted 08/19/07
NEW DELHI — The Indian Navy plans to acquire four underwater special operations vehicles and will seek foreign companies to assist with design and construction.
Last month, the Navy sent bids to two Indian defense companies, the private Larsen & Toubro and state-owned Mazagon Docks Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, under which the four submarines will be built in two phases, with each vehicle to cost about $80 million.
The vehicles are intended for commando and underwater operations in enemy territory, a Navy official said, and are being bought as part of the service’s new doctrine to equip the fleet for littoral warfare.
An MDL official said design help will be sought from overseas shipyards, but refused to name those short-listed for the purpose.
The vehicles’ main functions will be to transport divers and their gear from the mother craft to attack targets like a ship riding at anchor and coastal and offshore installations. The special submarines also will conduct covert surveillance, attack operations in shallow enemy waters and help remove commandoes and divers from a predesignated position after a mission.
The vehicles must be able to operate in tropical conditions and be carried by midget submarines. They need a minimum life of 20 years. The special vehicles should also be able to operate at a depth of 60 meters and transit at 150 meters, the Navy official said.
The vehicle would be about nine meters long, be no higher than 1.5 meters and have a hull diameter of around 1.5 meters.
The special vehicle will carry armaments, including up to 250 kilograms of explosive charges.
The Indian Navy currently operates about 16 submarines, including four German-designed subs, 10 Russian Sindhugosh-class Type 877EMs, armed with Klub cruise missiles, and two Foxtrot subs.
MDL also has been contracted to license-produce six French Scorpene subs for the Navy.
After delivery of the special vehicles is completed in five years, all Indian subs will carry them, the Navy official said.
The Navy also has acquired one former U.S. Navy troop-carrying ship, the amphibious transport dock USS Trenton, and is negotiating the purchase of another, the USS Nashville. •

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2971195&C=navwar


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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

― Guy de Maupassant
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Fingolfin
Posted: Aug 21 2007, 02:00 AM


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Well, the famous Italian frogmen attack on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant at Alexandria that sent them to the dry dock for months is perhaps a good case for the use of minsubs.


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tankee1981
Posted: Aug 21 2007, 09:24 AM


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Our SEAL trained NDU have some of these miini submarines for recce and infiltration? biggrin.gif
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evo
Posted: Aug 21 2007, 04:06 PM


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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jan 10 2008, 10:15 PM


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Lake City resident Reynolds Marion, inventor and designer of the Marion Hyper Sub, a one-of-a-kind hyper-submersible combination power boat (HSPB), returned recently from a visit with Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa and Special Warfare Command (SPECWAR) located in Coronado, Calif., just across the bay from San Diego.

“What was different about this visit was that the members of the Special Warfare Command are end users,” Marion said. “We were talking directly to Navy Seals and Riverrines.
“What an elite group of guys we met there. We were honored to be speaking to them because they definitely get it. They understand the capabilities of the hyper sub,” Marion said.
Marion said three members of his management team made the trip to Tampa and California with him.
“Vice Admiral Jim Amerault, retired; Dave Smith, our chief financial officer; and our attorney Russell Wade and I met with the military to discuss the recent successful test dives of the hyper sub,” Marion said.
“Amerault used to head up the entire budget for the U.S. Navy.”
Marion said that SPECWAR acknowledged that they have operational and capability gaps.
“They basically told me that there is nothing else like it and that it is a technology that they need in their inventory now.
“In my opinion, we should see the military begin to move to support what we are doing within a few months,” Marion said.
He said that talks with the military have taken an encouraging turn.
“They have it to the point where they are debating amongst themselves whether the hyper sub would be applied to their submersible operations or their surface craft operations,” Marion said.

user posted image

From socnet

Links:
http://hyper-sub.com/home.php
Main website

http://hyper-sub.com/product.hs600m.php
Product spec of military version

Video :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq0uuEASztA
First Dive Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7lQDnZt8o&feature=related
Hyper-Sub TV20


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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

― Guy de Maupassant
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tankee1981
Posted: Jan 11 2008, 10:39 PM


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QUOTE (Callsign 24 Seira @ Jul 15 2007, 12:13 PM)
Iran commissioned their second homemade mini Submarines
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/462-3054.aspx
Jan 2006


Iran Receives More Mini-Subs

December 5, 2006: Iran has put two coastal submarines into service. Apparently with technical help from North Korea, Iran is building these mini-submarines for operations along its coasts, and throughout the Persian Gulf. Four have been built so far. The sub has a two man crew, and can carry three divers, or several naval mines, or a torpedo. The Iranians say they will use the mini-subs to lay mines or launch underwater commando attacks. While the North Koreans provided some technical assistance, the Iranian sub is a local design, smaller than most North Korean mini-subs, which is a reflection of the more turbulent seas found off the Korean coast. In the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf, the Iranian minisubs (which look like an enlarged torpedo, with a glassed over cockpit in the front), can be very difficult to detect. Their range is probably a few hundred kilometers, more than sufficient to reach any targets in the area. However, the United States Navy has spent a lot of time and effort on the problem, and is probably better prepared to deal with minisubs than most navies. North Korea has a fleet of over 60 mini-subs, and apparently Iran wants at least a few dozen.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/art...aspx?comments=Y

This is a youtube video clip of Ghadir class midget class submarine, its very likely those mentioned in the article above. Here are the specs from youtube.

Builders: Defense Industries Organization
Operators: Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
Commissioned: 2005
Ships active: 2
Ships building: 1
General Characteristics
Displacement: 120-150 tons standard
Length: ~20 m
Beam: ~3 m
Draught: ~2.5m
Propulsion
and power: Diesel-electric propulsion
Armament: 2 torpedo tubes, missiles (more)

Ghadir midget submarine
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Callsign 24 Seira
Posted: Jun 14 2010, 09:36 PM


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Finding The Tiny Terrors
June 12, 2010:

The use of a North Korea midget sub to sink a South Korean corvette three months ago, has forced the United States, and South Korea, to seriously confront the problems involved in finding these small subs in coastal waters. This is a difficult task, because the target is small, silent (moving using battery power) and in a complex underwater landscape, that makes sonar less effective.

After the Cold War ended in 1991, the U.S. recognized that these coastal operations would become more common. So, in the 1990s, the U.S. developed the Advanced Deployable System (ADS) for detecting non-nuclear submarines in coastal waters. The ADS is portable, and can quickly be flown to where it is needed. ADS is believed to now be in South Korea, or on the way. ADS basically adapts the popular Cold War SOSUS system (many powerful listening devices surrounding the major oceans, and analyzing the noises to locate submarines) developed by the United States.

ADS consists of battery powered passive (they just listen) sensors that are battery powered and deployed by ship along the sea bottom in coastal waters. A fiber optic cable goes from the sensors (which look like a thick cable) back to shore, where a trailer containing computers and other electronics, and the ADS operators, runs the system. ADS has done well in tests, but it has never faced the North Korean mini-subs.

North Korea has a fleet of over 60 mini-subs, plus about 25 older Russian type conventional boats. North Korea got the idea for minisubs from Russia, which has had them for decades. North Korea has developed several mini-sub designs, most of them available to anyone with the cash to pay. The largest is the 250 ton Sang-O, which is actually a coastal sub modified for special operations. There is a crew of 19, plus either six scuba swimmer commandos, or a dozen men who can go ashore in an inflatable boat. Some Sang-Os have two or four torpedo tubes. Over thirty were built, and one was captured by South Korea when it ran aground in 1996.

The most popular mini-sub is the M100D, a 76 ton, 19 meter (58 foot) long boat that has a crew of four and can carry eight divers and their equipment. The North Koreans got the idea for the M100D when they bought the plans for a 25 ton Yugoslav mini-sub in the 1980s. Only four were built, apparently as experiments to develop a larger North Korean design. There are to be over 30 M100Ds, and they can be fitted with two torpedoes that are carried externally, but fired from inside the sub.

North Korea is believed to have fitted some of the Song-Os and M100Ds with acoustic tiles, to make them more difficult to detect by sonar. This technology was popular with the Russians, and that's where the North Koreans were believed to have got the technology.

The most novel design is a submersible speedboat. This 40 foot boat looks like a speedboat, displaces ten tons and can carry up to eight people. It only submerges to a depth of about ten feet. Using a schnorkel apparatus (a pipe type device to bring in air and expel diesel engine fumes), the boat can move underwater. In 1998, a South Korean destroyer sank one of these. A follow on class displaced only five tons, and could carry six people (including one or two to run the boat). At least eight of these were believed built.





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“You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

― Guy de Maupassant
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