Britain, Norway and France have
completed the construction of the NATO Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV). This $95
million project has produced 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, and carry up to 15 men at a time to the surface.
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, has a crew of three and can go as deep as 3,000 feet (which is the
maximum depth for most submarines.)
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.