Stealthy diver delivery boat transforms into a submarine
If you're on a secret military diving mission, chances are you don't want the enemy to see you getting into the water. That's where VICTA comes in, as it's a diver delivery boat that transforms into a submarine.
Currently being developed by UK firm SubSea Craft, VICTA measures 11.95 meters long by 2.3 m wide (39.2 by 7.5 ft), and seats six divers plus a pilot and a navigator. Its matte black composite hull is made of carbon fiber with a Diab foam core, for a good strength-to-weight ratio.
When first setting out on a mission, VICTA moves quickly across the surface like a regular boat. In this mode, it's powered by a customized Seatek 725+ diesel engine which outputs 725 bhp to a set of Konsberg Kamewa water jets. In its final form, it should have a top surface speed of 40 knots (46 mph or 74 km/h), a cruising speed of 30 knots (35 mph or 56 km/h) and a fuel range of 250 nautical miles (288 miles or 463 km).
Once it needs to get stealthy, VICTA stops and floods its cabin, submerging within two minutes. It then becomes a "wet sub," meaning that its occupants are immersed in water, and are wearing dive gear. The divers and crew all breathe from an onboard open circuit air system, so the divers don't deplete the air supply in their tanks – the onboard system should keep all eight people breathing for four hours.
In submarine mode, VICTA switches its propulsion over to six electric thrusters powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. It can then travel at a top speed of 8 knots (9 mph or 15 km/h), cruise at 6 knots (7 mph or 11 km/h), descend to a maximum depth of 30 meters (98 ft), and travel up to a range of 25 nautical miles (29 miles or 46 km). Fly-by-wire steering technology allows the same set of controls to be used both on the surface and underwater.
Upon reaching the diver-deployment target, VICTA stops, and the divers exit through gull-wing doors on its sides.
A prototype is currently being put together, with sea trails expected to take place next year. In the meantime, you can watch an animated version of VICTA in action, in the video below.
Source: SubSea Craft