James Bond’s underwater automobile is real, and it’s about to take over the world.
It was inspired by James Bond flicks and pledges to represent the United Kingdom’s global ambitions. Last week, sea trials for VICTA, a hybrid speedboat and submarine capable of delivering Special Forces to enemy shores in secrecy, began.
Defence ministries throughout the world, including the MoD, are paying careful attention since Portsmouth-based firm SubSea Craft is already taking orders. The £10 million craft is the world’s only “next-generation diver delivery system” and is packed with technology. On the surface, the vessel’s diesel-powered engine and powerful water jets can propel it to a top speed of 40 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.
The Victa, on the other hand, comes to the fore when it approaches a target. It submerses at the touch of a button, water filling its tanks and the cabin, where eight SBS operators, including a pilot and copilot, are ready for action and already wearing breathing apparatus.
It can also make the switch in under two minutes.
Its Global Britain credentials, however, extend beyond military applications, with technology advancements offered by some of the UK’s most forward-thinking companies.
Graham Allen, the company’s creator, began working on a concept that he first had as a child after seeing a James Bond film in his shed just seven years ago.
Although a good prototype was developed, the catamaran proved to be too heavy.
In its most recent iteration, the vessel is a sleek monohull with an enclosed carbon fiber shell.
The transition was made possible by BAR Technologies’ “computer fluid dynamics,” which uses streamlining technology developed for America’s Cup racing and was invented by British yachting champion Sir Ben Ainslie.
Sonardyne, situated in Yately, is responsible for its custom navigation system.
Victa’s heart – its aeroplane-like fly-by-wire control system, which provides dynamic stability in all conditions and lets the crew to focus on their task – was developed by UK business SCISYS, which was later acquired by Canadian giant CGI.
The next-generation bespoke software provides its operators with access to a home base as well as a variety of assets ranging from sonar to individual communication systems via which the pilot may relay instructions and check on the status of his SBS teammates.
“The goal was to make a mix of a long-range insertion ship and a diver delivery system. While the defense industry is our primary target market, we also have.”Brinkwire Summary News.”