Dry Deck Shelter
A Dry Deck Shelter is a removable module that can be attached to a submarine to allow divers easy exit and entrance while the boat is submerged. The host submarine must be specially modified to accommodate the DDS, with the appropriate mating hatch configuration, electrical connections, and piping for ventilation, divers' air, and draining water.

The United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's DDSs are 11.6 meters (38 feet) long by 2.7 meters (9 feet) high and wide, add about 30 tons to its host submarine's submerged displacement, can be transported by trucks or C-5 Galaxy
C-5 Galaxy
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many...

 aircraft, and require one to three days to install and test. They have three HY-80 steel sections within the outer glass-reinforced plastic
Glass-reinforced plastic
Fiberglass , is a fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass. It is also known as GFK ....

 (GRP) fairing: a spherical hyperbaric chamber at the forward end to treat injured divers; a smaller spherical transfer trunk; and a cylindrical hangar with elliptical ends. The hangar can support a Swimmer Delivery Vehicle
Swimmer Delivery Vehicle
Swimmer Delivery Vehicles are midget submersibles designed to transport frogmen from a combat swimmer unit or naval Special Forces underwater, over long distances. SDVs carry a pilot, co-pilot, and combat swimmer team and their equipment, to and from maritime mission objectives on land or at sea...

 (SDV), four Navy SEALs
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

 to man the SDV, and a crew of Navy Divers
United States Navy Diver
A Navy Diver refers to a member of the community of Unrestricted Line Officer Officers, Medical Corps Officers and enlisted personnel in the United States Navy who are qualified in underwater open/closed circuit breathing apparatus, deep sea type diving apparatus and saturation diving. Personnel...

 to operate the DDS and launch the SDV; or 20 SEALs with four Combat Rubber Raiding Craft
Combat Rubber Raiding Craft
The F470 Combat Rubber Raiding Craft , also known as the "Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft," is a specially fabricated rubber inflatable boat often used by United States Navy SEALs and Marines, among others...


The two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams report to Naval Special Warfare Group THREE
Naval Special Warfare Group THREE
Naval Special Warfare Group 3 , based out of Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California is one of six constituent commands of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command. Until 2008, NSWG-3 was composed of two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams: SDVT-1 out of Pearl Harbor; and SDVT-2 out of Little...


There are currently six portable Dry Deck Shelters in use by the USN, the first one built by the Electric Boat. The first, designated DDS-01S ("S" for the side to which the hangar outer door opens), was completed in 1982. The remaining five, DDS-02P ("P" for port opening), -03P, -04S, -05S, and -06P, were built between 1987 and 1991 and were built by Newport News Shipbuilding. The shelters are maintained by a combined effort of Navy Divers stationed on the teams and workers of the maintenance company Oceaneering
Oceaneering International
Oceaneering International Inc. is an applied technology company based in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. that provides engineered services and hardware to customers who operate in marine, space, and other environments...

. They have expected useful lives of about 40 years each.

DDS-Capable Submarines

  • United States Naval Forces- †‡ †‡ †‡ †‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ † † † †

  • British Naval Forces-

Astute class submarines-
  • HMS Agamemnon S123
  • HMS Anson S124
  • HMS Ajax S125

† can carry two DDSs

‡ no longer in service

All submarines will have an integral Lock-Out Trunk capable of deploying divers and their equipment. The SSGNs have been converted to be capable of attaching up to two DDSs.

External links

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