Submarines: July 8, 2003


On June 27th, the U.S. Navy SEALs received their first ASDS (Advanced SEAL Delivery System), a 65 foot long, 55 ton submarine. An ASDS can carry 8-16 SEALs (depending on how much equipment is brought along.) The ASDS has a range of 200 kilometers at about 14 kilometers an hour, and can be launched from another submarine, a surface ship or from land. ASDS is battery powered and has a crew of two (pilot and navigator.) The current SEAL mini-sub requires the SEALs to wear scuba gear, has a much shorter range and is basically a slow torpedo that can carry passengers. The ASDS had problems in testing, particularly with battery life. The first ASDS cost nearly $250 million, with subsequent boats costing less than half that. There is nothing radically new about the ASDS, the Russians have had similar mini-subs for decades. SOCOM also wants to build a mini-ASDS, that will perform like an underwater scooter. 


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