The SRV-F; a 52-man Rescue Submarine by SMP ltd

Submarine Manufacturing Projects, a firm with a long history in diving bells and diving spreads, in 2023 won the contract to build a new style of rescue submarine employing the same philosophy as one of the original rescue submersibles, the Swedish URF first launched in 1978. One trip, all out.

The typical rescue submarine of which there are many operating today have a typical capacity of 16 rescuees. Astute for example has a crew of 98, a typical Trident boat 138, so rescuing them all would be a long process and would require a surface support ship with a large A frame to keep lifting the sub and transferring personnel into the decompression facility. However, the majority of submarines in service with the world’s navies are smaller diesel electric boats with crews between 25 and 40. To be able to quickly tow out a rescue asset with any ship of opportunity and rescue the whole crew in one trip greatly improves their chance of survival. If needed, they can all de-compress on the tow back in the large rescue chamber.

My old friends from JFD have become shareholders in SMP and with a new concept of rescue vehicle and a strong sales lead embarked on the project in 2022. I was given the basic concept of this 45ton vehicle and the task to turn it into reality with a DNV classification. The sub is due to launch in 2026.