Designed to transit at speeds of up to 40 kt on the surface to ranges of up to 250 nm, VICTA is then able to rapidly transition to sub-surface mode to enable the discreet delivery and recovery of divers and other payloads. The craft is designed to achieve four hours submerged endurance, sufficient to transport two crew and six divers up to 25 nm.
Engineering advancements in the design of the boat also allow for VICTA to be cached on the seabed, and lie dormant while the crew conduct their task. It can then be re-occupied for exfiltration from the target.
Subsea Craft claims that VICTA is at least a generation ahead of any similar competing product. Key features include an advanced fly-by-wire control to reduce the cognitive workload on the pilot, together with a high level of navigational and situational awareness derived from a command system developed by CGI. This integrates inputs from radar, sonar, GPS, and inertial navigation.
Scott Verney, chief executive of Subsea Craft said:
“VICTA offers a several operational advantages over technology in service today. There is a lot of technology out there in the submersible world, and a lot in the fast craft world, but what there isn’t is hybrids that can do both.
“The trials will provide us with vital information as we continue our development of VICTA and as we progress our discussions with potentially interested parties,” he added.
The VICTA prototype was lowered into the water at the company’s Camber facility on 9 September. Initial testing is focused on the boat’s buoyancy and equilibrium, to be followed by trials of the craft’s digital systems. Dynamic testing – including sub-surface trials – is due to run in the first quarter of 2022.