DCE and the High-Speed Seal Delivery Vehicle: 2015
Arriving in the spring of 2015 on the beautiful island of Vaxholm in the Swedish Archipelago off Stockholm I was presented with a new task.
JFD had purchased a company, DCE which had developed an unusual vehicle which could run as a planning craft at 30kn on the surface using a 400hp diesel engine, then shut down and submerge for the final run into the shore with 6 navy seals on board. The diesel engine was in a pressure resistant capsule to keep it dry during the submerged run, but had to open up the large intake and exhaust as well as cooling water on the surface. They had two problems.
First, they had flooded a diesel engine on the prototype for reasons that were not at all obvious and, second, they had an important demonstration to a customer before the August holiday. It was made clear to them by management at JFD that DCE was at risk if the deadline was not met. No pressure then.
Having built several diesel-powered submarines, and having managed to flood engines twice, I had some experience to impart. Together with the very talented engineers at DCE, we planned the fix but deadlines were looming. The team felt it was impossible, so I went into project management mode and made a plan. Each day, everyone knew exactly what they had to do and the boat went into the water on time and performed without hitches.
On my next Sweden Gig, they had taken the message well and their project planning was the best I have ever seen.