Release date: 29 January 2019
JFD launches first flexible rebreather capability for military combat divers
JFD, the world-leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence diving markets and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has announced the launch of its Shadow/B defence rebreather, providing the market with a back-mounted rebreather capability, from their established product line, for the first time.
Combined with a conversion kit that allows divers to convert from a front-mounted to a back-mounted rebreather, the launch of the Shadow/B represents the latest in a long line of technological developments designed to enhance safety in military combat diving.
With the significant growth in navies looking to develop specific maritime skills for special forces, counter-terrorism and other areas of covert operations, there is a fundamental requirement for navies to keep their physical assets, including submarines and vessels, as far away from conflict as possible, and this is leading to the integration of swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) onto suitable submarines and other platforms. Traditionally, rebreather sets worn by combat divers are front-mounted which prevents the diver from being able to pilot the SDV that would facilitate their insertion into the operational field, creating the necessity to purchase multiple rebreather sets for the dive team. The JFD Shadow/B set and conversion option allows divers to adapt their equipment to best suit mission requirements, allowing them to carry out their operations safely and efficiently.
Danny Gray, Operations Director, JFD, commented:
“Our primary focus has always been to equip divers with the technologies they need to successfully carry out their missions, allowing them to dive deeper and for longer, but most importantly in the safest possible conditions. In the development of Shadow/B, JFD has proactively engaged with the end user to firmly establish the requirements and deliver an innovative solution that will be fit-for-purpose. The Shadow range of special forces equipment is designed to be modular, allowing divers to adapt to mission requirements and ensuring they have the flexibility they need to safely complete their operations. Our expert technical team worked to develop a practical rebreather capability to meet the evolving operational roles of the combat diver and significantly improve safety standards.
“We remain committed to investing in R&D that will drive the development of the innovative solutions our customers need. Providing divers with the flexibility they need to carry out their work is key, and our focus will remain on how to ensure we can best support divers in conducting challenging operations whilst always protecting their safety.”
JFD is working with the world’s leading navies in the provision of a comprehensive, total Special Forces capability, from rebreathers through to SDVs, as well as the integration with operational platforms, employing a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the entire mission spectrum to deliver innovative solutions that drive the highest standards in safety and operational efficiency.
This latest release enables Shadow to be a true multi-role system, with the ability to use a back or front-mounted configuration as required by use of a conversion kit. It provides flexibility for dive teams to ensure a safe insertion into the operational field whilst also carrying the equipment they need to carry out their mission.
Shadow/B follows on from the recent launch of Shadow NAV, an advanced combat diver navigation module. The Shadow NAV is fitted to a diver’s standard half mask and provides a clear visual display of a combat diver’s compass heading, depth, and time even in near-zero visibility conditions. The Shadow NAV represents a leap forward in capability for combat divers by ensuring they have continual visibility of accurate information. Through the Shadow range of innovative diving equipment, JFD is driving the highest standards of safety and capability in military combat diving.
JFD has a well-established history in the development of advanced and innovative systems which significantly improve diver safety. The company pioneers subsea innovation to deliver safer and more economic diving operations for its customers working in deep and often extreme environments.