The manufacturer Lockheed Martin confirmed in May that the DCS is now fully operational with the Navy.

The US Navy has integrated into its arsenal an advanced mini-submarine, the Dry Combat Submersible (DCS), designed for special operations and representing a technological milestone in the defense of the country.

DCS, a technological achievement for US defense

The manufacturer Lockheed Martin confirmed in May that the DCS is now fully operational with the Navy. This submarine allows personnel to remain fully protected underwater during operations, presenting a significant advance in submersible technology.

So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered two DCS units to the Navy, and a third is in the process of delivery. This series of mini-submarines is a variant of the S351 Nemesis, a design by British company MSubs, with whom Lockheed Martin has collaborated since 2016.

The DCS features an electric propulsion system and can be submerged to 330 feet, carrying a crew of two with additional room for eight passengers or equivalent cargo.

The benefits of DCS for the Navy and SEALs

DCS mini-submarine joins US Navy

Compared to the previous Navy SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), the DCS offers advantages in its range and its ability to transport special operations forces. While the previous model was not pressurized, limiting its operating depth, the DCS ensures a safer and more comfortable ride.

DCS protects operators from adverse conditions, such as cold water, and prevents fatigue that can be caused by “wet” SDVs. Also, it does not require hydration restrictions due to the need for scuba equipment.

Lockheed Martin ensures that the DCS provides safe and stealthy transport over long distances in a dry environment, allowing operators to be better equipped for their mission.

The Navy’s long search for technology like DCS

DCS mini-submarine joins US Navy

Acquiring a DCS-like capability has been a goal of the US Navy for decades. Requirements for such a system began to be outlined in the 1980s. Still, earlier projects like the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) were canceled for a variety of reasons, including cost overruns and technical problems.

The launch of the DCS has faced delays and is scheduled to reach full operability in June 2021. Only the Virginia and Ohio-class submarines can carry this type of mini-sub.

The Navy is studying the use of C-17A Globemaster III cargo aircraft to expedite the deployment of the DCS. In addition, developing an improved DCS that can be launched from a Virginia-class submarine is under consideration.

DCS, an innovation in the transport of special operations forces

After years of effort, the US Navy has advanced technology for transporting special operations forces. This achievement offers these troops greater comfort and security during missions and sets a new standard in the defense of the country.

What is the DCS mini-submarine?

The DCS (Dry Combat Submersible) mini-submarine is an advanced underwater vehicle for special operations. Designed by Lockheed Martin and MSubs, the DCS allows personnel to remain fully submerged and protected during operations.

How does the DCS mini-submarine work?

The DCS has an all-electric propulsion system and can descend up to 330 feet. It can carry a crew of two, with additional space for eight passengers or equivalent cargo.

What is the advantage of the DCS mini-sub over the SDV?

Unlike the SDV (Seal Delivery Vehicle), which is not pressurized and exposes occupants to water, the DCS offers a more comfortable and safer ride, keeping occupants dry, refreshed and mission-ready.

How is the DCS mini-submarine transported?

The DCS is carried on surface mother ships such as amphibious warfare ships. The possibility of using C-17A Globemaster III cargo planes is also being explored to expedite their deployment.

What is the foreseen future for the DCS mini-submarine?

It is intended to develop an improved DCS that can be dispatched from a Virginia-class submarine. In addition, it is still being studied whether it is feasible that the current DCS can be externally attached to the hull of the main submarine.