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A Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) is a type of deep-submergence vehicle used for rescue of downed submarines and clandestine missions. While DSRV is the term most often used by the United States Navy, other nations have different designations for their vehicles.
France, Norway and the UK share the NATO Submarine Rescue System programme.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force operate two DSRVs with dedicated mother ships.
The mode of deployment for these United States submersibles is: fly the vehicle to the port closest to the incident; attach the vehicle to a host submarine; the host submarine travels to the incident site; rescue. The DSRVs were originally designed to work with USS Pigeon and USS Ortolan, but those two vessels have since been decommissioned and replaced by the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System.
The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) is designed to rescue 24 people at a time at depths of up to 600 m (1,969 ft). Their maximum operating depth is 1,500 m (4,921 ft). Power is provided by two large batteries, one fore, and one aft that power the electrical, hydraulic and life support systems. The DSRV uses mercury in a completely sealed system to allow themselves to match any angle (up to 45°) in both pitch and roll so as to "mate" (attach) to a downed submarine that may be at an angle on the sea floor. The DSRV is capable of being transported by Air Force C-5 to anywhere in the world within 24 hours.
It is then loaded onto a "Mother Submarine" (MOSUB). The MOSUB then carries the DSRV to the rescue site where several trips are made to rescue all personnel. Rescue is usually accomplished by ferrying rescuees from the stranded sub to the MOSUB, however, they can also be taken to a properly equipped surface support ship.
In addition to a number of U.S. Navy submarines being outfitted for MOSUB capabilities, several NATO countries also have submarines outfitted to carry the U.S. Navy DSRV for rescue capability as needed. Both the UK and French Navies have such submarines.
The interior of the DSRV is composed of three spheres. The forward sphere is the "Control Sphere" where the DSRV's pilot and copilot operate the vehicle. The two aft spheres (known as Mid Sphere and Aft Sphere) are used to seat the rescuees or to install equipment for additional operations. Maneuvering is accomplished using four thrusters and one main propeller.
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