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DSEI 2023: Shadow Seal gears up for final in-water trials

A production model of Shadow Seal was displayed in public for the first time at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London. (Storm Shadow)

The first production-standard Shadow Seal semi-submersible tactical diving vehicle (TDV) under development by UK-based JFD is set to start its final in-water testing and validation phase on the Clyde, near the company's facilities in Inchinnan, Glasgow.

Speaking to Janes at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London on 13 September, Alistair Wilson, JFD sales and marketing director, said the final trials phase was expected to continue for the next six weeks, after which the TDV would be delivered to the company's US-based partner Blue Tide Marine (BTM) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, around November.

Following its delivery to the US, BTM will use the TDV for local demonstrations and training purposes as part of JFD's efforts to secure US customers for Shadow Seal.

Shadow Seal is a lightweight multimission TDV designed to enable the discrete and covert transportation of four operators (including a pilot and navigator) and equipment on the surface, semi-submerged, or fully submerged.

JFD is pitching the TDV as a practical and cost-effective solution for maritime special operations forces who are looking to project underwater manoeuvre capability within restricted or denied littoral and riverine environments.

β€œThe real selling piece for Shadow Seal is the denied environment that everybody's operating in,” Wilson said. β€œIn air and land terms the world is electronically congested. Underwater, however, you're still in a protected space. So, your ability to transit over the water and then, when you get near to where you want to get to, the ability to go covertly under water … this is the kind of doctrinal change that we're trying to develop with Shadow Seal.”

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