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British Maritime Tech Company Developing James Bond-esque Underwater Speed Boat

written by Bella Palmer
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The British maritime technology company Subsea Craft is developing a speedboat that can dive under the water. The technology sounds like it belongs in a James Bond film. Like much of the latest technology in the world, the concept is probably even inspired by the fictional world of action movies. But real life special forces might soon be erupting out of the water in direct proximity to their target, having approached undetected beneath the surface.

The Victa, as the 007-esque craft has been named, is piloted by a 2-man crew and can carry up to six divers as passengers. Aesthetically, it reminds of the Lotus Esprit that can rapidly transform into a submarine, featured in the James Bond instalment The Spy Who Loved Me.

Developer Subsea Craft, based in Havant, Hampshire, believes the Victa will, when released, represent the first real-life version of a surface-submersible craft. Special forces dive teams currently rely on small vessels released from a hold in a submarine or warship to get to targets via an underwater approach.

The Victa should offer many more options. The craft is small enough to fit inside a standard shipping container. After being dropped where needed by a helicopter or small ship, it can travel up to 125 nautical miles on the surface as a speedboat before diving beneath the waves to make the stealthy final approach. It takes two minutes for the Victa to transform into a submarine, with the craft’s controls remaining the same in both surface and underwater modes.

Source: The Times

Subsea Craft’s chief technical officer Simon Eveleigh commented for The Times newspaper?

 “Special forces won’t have to rely on large strategic assets like a submarine to get into place to be deployed. This will be far more nimble and agile.”

Sea trials of the Victa are planned for early next year and all being well, Subsea Craft hopes the new marine technology will be operational and available for sale by 2022. Individual Victas are expected to cost somewhere between £7 million and £10 million.

The craft’s main bodywork is make of carbon fibre and it will be propelled at up to 40 knots by a 725hp diesel engine when above water. Underwater power is provided by 2 lithium ion battery packs offering up to four hours of activity and able to cover 25 nautical miles. Sonar technology will see the Victa build 3D images of the seafloor up to 600 metres away or 100 metres down.

Subsea Craft say it has received enquiries from up to 14 countries, which are keen to potentially deploy the Victa to special forces and anti-drug police operations. Mr Eveleigh detailed the birth of the futuristic stealth craft as an idea, explaining:

“This started ut as a leisure idea from our chairman but fairly early on we realised this was more of a defence opportunity.”

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