It might look like a cruise missile that has lost its wings, or like a giant tadpole, or a short torpedo – it might even remind you of something from a Bond film, or a sci-fi masterpiece. At any rate, this thing is very real and it is quite possibly the most cutting-edge underwater swimmer propulsion solution EVER.
They say that sometimes less is more, this certainly seems to be the approach that Rotinor took with their booth at MiliPol – just plain neutral-toned walls and carpet, 2 flat-screens showing a video loop, and out front 2 black monolithic product mounts topped with 2 models of the company’s stunningly sleek and beautiful “scuba scooters”. But calling these machines a scuba scooter is like calling a Lamborghini a grocery cart. This is game-changing technology if I ever saw it. Everything that came before is now obsolete – period.
The company calls their machines “SEABOB”, and I suppose that’s becuase they do bear a certain resemblance to modern, Olympic bobsleds and with their powerful water-jet propulsion systems they are the underwater equivalent in terms of speed. Speaking of speed, they are limited by the drag induced by the operator’s body and equipment, but the company claims that the SEABOB can do up to 12.5 km/h – that’s almost 8 miles per hour, and for underwater speeds, that’s fast! Thanks to its jet propulsion system, the Black Shadow is also virtually silent and 100% emission free.
Located in Stuttgart, Germany (home also to Porsche), Rotinor was founded only 3 years ago, but already the water-jet propelled SEABOB is in use with several European SOF units – but not Germany, yet. So far though Rotinor has not managed to penetrate the layers of German bureaucracy, so for now German frogmen will only be able to look on enviously at other nations using these fine examples of precision German engineering.
For more info, www.rotinor.com