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Special mission subs unveiled

The Kronos moored at the NAVDEX naval area. (Andrew White)

Two underwater special-mission craft were unveiled during the IDEX 2023 show, held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

The futuristic-looking Kronos developed by the Emirati start-up Desert Power Designs/Highland Systems participated in the live demonstration at the NAVDEX naval area, with the company saying its craft'shydrodynamic hull gives it high surface and submerged speeds.

Designed for military, research, rescue, and underwater engineering purposes, the Kronos is 9.03 m long, 7.43 m wide, and 2.09 m high, enabling it to carry 11 people, including the pilot.

It has a diesel engine that gives it a top speed of 43 kt on the surface and a 1,200 hp electric motor for a submerged top speed of 27 kt, according to the company, which says it is designed to operate at a depth of 100 m, with 250 m listed as its critical depth, and that its batteries last for up to 18 hours.

Additional features can include 360° night-vision cameras, a sonar system, six lightweight torpedoes, and a lock-out chamber that enables divers to leave the craft without flooding the cabin.

Company officials said the Kronos has two ways to submerge: a ‘dynamic dive at high speed', or more conventionally filling its ballast tanks.

They said the Kronos has been undergoing sea trials for the past two months, a special demonstration is scheduled for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy in the next two weeks, and further tests are expected to take place in Italy later this year.

Meanwhile, Sweden's Armacraft Marine Defense displayed a scale model of its Trident Mk II Combat Diver Delivery Craft (CDDC) on the stand of the UAE's International Golden Group.

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