Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle

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A Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) is a type of Deep Submergence Vehicle used for rescue of downed submarines and clandestine missions. While DSRV is the term most often used by the United States Navy other nations have different designations for their vehicles.

List of Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles

Chinese models

The People's Republic of China has three Dajiang (大江) class submarine rescue ships. Each ship is equipped with two DSRV. The lead ship of the Dajiang class is the Changxingdao (長興島, 861).

European models

France, Norway and the UK share the NATO Submarine Rescue System programme.

Japanese models

File:Japanese DSRV aboard Chihaya.jpg
The JMSDF deep submergence rescue vehicle Angler Fish 2 aboard the submarine rescue ship JDS Chihaya

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force operate two DSRVs with dedicated mother ships.

Korean models

The Korean navy operates a submarine rescue ship called Cheong Haejin. It has a dedicated mother ship. The model is based on a modified British design.

Russian models

Russia is believed to have one vessel of the Bester class and five of the Priz class, which was involved in the failed attempt to rescue the crew of the Kursk

Singapore model

MV Swift Rescue. Launched 29 Nov 2008. Singapore's first and only submarine recovery vessel. Equipped with a deep submergence rescue vehicle.

United Kingdom models

The United Kingdom operates the LR5 submersible in a submarine rescue role. It previously operated the Slingsby Engineering built LR3[1].

United States models

The mode of deployment for these United States submersibles is: fly the vehicle to the port closest to the incident; attach the vehicle to a host submarine; the host submarine travels to the incident site; rescue. The DSRVs were originally designed to work with USS Pigeon and USS Ortolan, but those two vessels have since been decommissioned and replaced by the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System.


The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) is designed to rescue 24 persons at a time at depths of up to 2000 ft. Their maximum operating depth is 5000 ft. Power is provided by 2 large batteries, one fore, and one aft that power the electrical, hydraulic and life support systems. The DSRV uses mercury in a completely sealed system to allow themselves to match any angle (up to 45°) in both pitch and roll so as to "mate" (attach) to a downed submarine that may be at an angle on the sea floor. The DSRV is capable of being transported by Air Force C-5 to anywhere in the world within 24 hours.

It is then loaded onto a "Mother Submarine" (MOSUB).

The MOSUB then carries the DSRV to the rescue site where several trips are made to rescue all personnel.

Rescue is usually accomplished by ferrying rescuees from the stranded sub to the MOSUB, however, they can also be taken to a properly equipped surface support ship.

In addition to a number of U.S. Navy submarines being outfitted for MOSUB capabilities, several NATO countries also have submarines outfitted to carry the U.S. Navy DSRV for rescue capability as needed. Both the UK and French Navies have such submarines.

The interior of the DSRV is composed of 3 spheres. The forward sphere is the "Control Sphere" where the DSRV's pilot and copilot operate the vehicle. The two aft spheres (known as Mid Sphere and Aft Sphere) are used to seat the rescuees or to install equipment for additional operations. Maneuvering is accomplished using 4 thrusters and one main propeller.

See also


External links

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