Military Embedded Systems

Tactical diving vehicle showcased by JFD at SOF Week


May 08, 2023

Flavia Camargos Pereira

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy JFD.

SOF WEEK 2023 – TAMPA, Fla. Ahead of delivery to U.S. partner Blue Tide Marine (BTM) for demonstration and training purposes, underwater capability provider JFD (Aberdeen, UK) unveiled its advanced four-man tactical diving platform, Shadow Seal (MK1D), showing a prototype model of the vehicle at the SOF Week convention. 

Shadow Seal is an adaptable lightweight tactical diving vehicle (TDV) able to transport a pilot, navigator, and two passengers in surface, semi-submerged, and submerged mode with a range of 80 nm (92 miles). The company touts the TDV's underwater maneuvrability, which Special Operations Forces require to covertly cross the expanding offshore and littoral water gap, giving added protection to complex, high-value platforms and critical infrastructure.

Designed to be deployable from a slipway trailer, small surface vessel, rotary-wing aircraft or small crane, the vehicle may be piloted from either the front or rear positions using a console control and trims with a special closed loop trimming system that has the capability to buoyancy compensate for 90 kg (198 pounds).

JFD’s partnership with BTM was announced in March 2022 as part of the company’s commitment to expanding its U.S. presence and subsea maritime capability; BTM subsequently purchased the first production model of Shadow Seal to provide local demonstration and training services. It also acquired follow-on support services throughout the product life cycle of the vehicle.

JFD has been working closely with the BTM team during production at JFD’s facility in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Final in-water trials, Factory Acceptance Trials (FATS) and Harbour Acceptance Trials (HATS) are currently underway prior to delivery to BTM in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in coming months.

Shadow Seal was first developed by Dutch company Ortega Submersibles, which was acquired by JFD in 2019; the TDV has since undergone further development and trials. Recent upgrades in the vehicle include expansion of available battery power enhancing its range and endurance capacity.

Show attendees can visit JFD at booths L500 and L501.

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