Updated: October 17, 2020 9:20:11 pm
A UK-based company has nearly finished building what is widely being considered one of the world’s most technologically advanced and cutting edge surface submersible craft, which closely resembles a fictional vessel that first appeared in the 1977 James Bond film ‘The spy who loved me’.
Developed by maritime defence technology company SubSea Craft, the VICTA craft is capable of operating both on and under water. Built following a $15 million investment, it is expected to be sold around the world for defence-related missions and ‘advanced sub-aqua tourism’ by next year, the Daily Mail reported.
The craft is built for a two-person crew and can carry an additional six divers. On the water’s surface, it is powered by diesel engines and can achieve speeds of up to 40 knots over a range of 250 nautical miles. But once submerged, lithium ion batteries take over as the vessel uses sonar technology to avoid obstacles and speed ahead.
Interestingly, the cockpit of the 11.95-metre vessel floods completely as the vessel plunges underwater, thus requiring the crew to wear heavy duty diving suits while on board. Once it is completely submerged, the crew have the option of exiting from the doors and exploring nearby waters.
“VICTA combines the characteristics of a fast surface craft with those of a submersible. It moves quickly and seamlessly from surface to sub-surface and this transition, along with its performance in both domains is enabled by an innovative fly-by-wire control system,” the company website reads.
When the vessel is completely built, acrylic windows, hatches, hinges and a life-support system will be installed before comprehensive trials and testing is conducted, the Daily Mail reported.
The craft is made of carbon fibre, which makes it lightweight, faster and more manoeuvrable than any other comparable craft, according to its makers.
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