UK-based underwater vehicle specialist JFD has launched a four-man tactical diving vehicle dubbed ‘Shadow Seal’ (MK1D), ahead of delivery to United States partner Blue Tide Marine (BTM) for demonstration and training purposes.
In March 2022, JFD announced a strategic partnership with BTM as a step towards expanding its presence and enhancing subsea maritime capabilities in the US. As part of this deal, BTM acquired the inaugural production model of Shadow Seal to facilitate local demonstration and training services.
Shadow Seal is a lightweight tactical diving vehicle (TDV) capable of transporting a pilot, navigator, and two passengers. It operates in surface, semi-submerged, and submerged modes with a range of 80 nautical miles.
Designed for special operations forces, JFD says the craft offers good underwater maneuverability and is adaptable to various ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) and combat requirements. The platform provides protection to high-value platforms and critical infrastructure.
During the production process, JFD says it maintained a close collaboration with the BTM team, both at JFD’s facility in Glasgow, UK, and during the final in-water trials. The factory acceptance trials and harbor acceptance trials are currently underway.
The craft will be delivered to BTM in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the following months. JFD is providing ongoing support and training as the vehicle is handed over to its US counterpart.
“We are excited to bring this collaborative effort of JFD and BTM to the subsea sector and look forward to the delivery of the Shadow Seal,” said Bob Pudney, BTM president. “This multi-mission capable platform provides an opportunity to modernise the undersea capabilities of SOCOM, the US Navy and other agency partners with advanced mission focused technology, extended range and offers practical training and in service support.”
“The BTM partnership ensures that we can offer innovative solutions to modern day challenges; such as the current capability gap in littoral maneuver; with first class in-country demonstration and training. JFD is committed to further developing our in-country capabilities including through-life support services and this upcoming, important delivery milestone reflects a significant milestone in our mission to better serve the US and wider Americas undersea markets,” said Rob Hales, JFD managing director.