JFD – part of James Fisher and Sons plc – has launched its advanced four-man tactical diving platform, Shadow Seal, during SOF Week 2023, ahead of delivery to United States partner Blue Tide Marine (BTM) for demonstration and training purposes.
Shadow Seal is an adaptable and extremely capable lightweight Tactical Diving Vehicle (TDV) able to transport a pilot, navigator and two passengers in surface, semi submerged and submerged mode with a range of 80nm.
Shadow Seal offers unparalleled underwater manoeuvrability to Special Operations Forces required to covertly cross the expanding offshore and littoral water gap. Adaptable to suit a variety of ISTAR and combat requirements, the platform provides sophisticated protection to complex, high value platforms and critical infrastructure.
A strategic partnership with BTM was announced in March 2022 as part of JFD’s commitment to expanding its US presence and subsea maritime capability. BTM subsequently purchased the first production model of Shadow Seal to provide local demonstration and training services – significant milestone in JFD’s journey towards a full turnkey US capability, inclusive of TDV provision and follow on support services throughout the product lifecycle.
“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,” Bob Pudney, President, Blue Tide Marine, commented. “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.”
JFD has been working closely with the BTM team during production at JFD’s facility in Glasgow, UK, and final in-water trials, FATS (Factory Acceptance Trials) and HATS (Harbour Acceptance Trials) are currently underway prior to delivery to BTM in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in coming months. JFD will continue to offer support and training as the craft is delivered to the US.
“The BTM partnership ensures that we can offer innovative solutions to modern day challenges, such as the current capability gap in littoral manoeuvre, with first class in-country demonstration and training,” Rob Hales, JFD Managing Director, said. “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.”
Shadow Seal was first developed by Ortega Submersibles in The Netherlands which was acquired by JFD in 2019 and has since undergone further development and rigorous trials. JFD has combined 40 years’ experience within the subsea domain with proven technology; found within JFD’s Carrier Seal which is in operation with a number of the World’s Navies. Recent upgrades included in the latest Shadow Seal include expansion of available battery power enhancing range and endurance capacity of the craft.