ASDS Mini-Sub Program Sinks, As Replacements Rise

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ASDS(click to view full) Northrop Grumman’s ASDS “Advanced SEAL Delivery System” aimed to build mini-subs as successors to the current SDV (SEAL/Swimmer Delivery Vehicle). It began with great promise. The SDVs, carried on US modified Benjamin Franklin Class [SSBN-640] special warfare submarines, as well as new Ohio Class SSGNs, were old – and cold. ASDS would offer a modern, dry alternative, with advanced sensors besides. In the end, however, technical and reliability issues proved insuperable. The program spiraled out of control, with cost overruns of 400+%. In its place, a less ambitious SWCS replacement program is beginning to take shape, even as the private sector begins to step in with options of its own. This DID FOCUS article chronicles the ASDS program’s history, its designated successors, and emerging privately-funded alternatives. What’s Next? The SWCS/JMMS Older SDV(click to view full) A US SOCOM solicitation explains the problem with the current SEAL Delivery Vehicle: “The MK 8 MOD 1 SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) is approaching the end of its service life. The system was originally designed around a standard 1553 data bus, making upgrades and replacements no longer cost effective due to obsolescence. In some cases, increased capability may be available but […]

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