18 Jul 2023

Extending Maritime Special Operations Capability

JFD Global
Extending Maritime Special Operations Capability optimising Tactical Diving Life Support System ergonomics and duration.

Tactical Diving in the 21st Century

When facing peer or near peer adversaries, the viability of inserting a fully equipped military Tactical Diving (TD) team by small inflatable craft to within realistically achievable swimming distances of an objective is rapidly declining. This is as a consequence of emerging sophisticated land, sea and airborne sensor / weapon systems that are able to reach deep into the littoral zone. Crossing the increasingly expanding ‘water gap’ discretely and covertly is therefore presenting a number of challenges to maritime SOF and increasing use is being made of submersible Tactical Diving Vehicles (TDV).


The underwater breathing apparatus ‘work-horse’ for Tactical Diving since World War Two has been, and is predicted to remain, the closed-circuit oxygen rebreather. Such systems are technologically simple, relatively small, light and robust, precisely what the maritime SOF Operator requires. Typically, the Tactical Diver wears the rebreather on the front, which is often the best location when conducting long distance sub-surface swimming.

However, the increasing use of TDVs by maritime SOF to cover even further distances, requires a rebreather specifically designed for back worn use that provides unhindered field of view and access to TDV controls together with the ability to lie flat on the vehicle when using smaller TDVs.


Shadow Back Mount (BM) is the latest variant of the operationally proven JFD Shadow Tactical Diving (TD) Life Support System (LSS) used by maritime Special Operations Forces (SOF) globally. Developed under the JFD ‘Swim & Fight’ principle of tactical diver performance enhancement, besides optimising the design for TDV operations, Shadow BM readily facilitates the transition between sub-surface operations and land warfare, enabling operational field equipment and weapons to be immediately accessed once at the water land interface.

Extending maritime Special Operations capability by optimising Tactical Diving Life Support System ergonomics and duration. To enable extended duration TDV operations requires a life support system that is capable of safely supporting such operations. Providing an un-parallel duration capability, Shadow BM has a CO2 absorbent canister that provides a four-hour duration at 40RMV or five-hour duration at 30RMV in cold water thus enabling long duration TDV operations.



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