Many thans to unnamed others, without whom this article would not have been possible.
'Deep Shadow' Swimmer Delivery Vehicle revealed
CABI Cattaneo of Milan, Italy, are one of the world’s foremost producers of underwater vehicles and heavy equipment for special forces. But they are virtually unknown outside the close-knit Submarine & Special Forces communities. Until a couple of years ago the secretive nature of their primary customer has meant that their products are for the most part completely unreported. That changed at the Seafuture 2016 show in La Spezia when the company started to court export customers with their Deep Guardian Special Forces Hangar. Now at Seafuture 2018 they have revealed a number of other products including the Deep Shadow SDV.
The Deep Shadow carries six combat swimmers and is roughly analogous to the US Navy SEALs’ SDV Mk.VIII series. Payload bays are situated fore and aft and four thrusters allow hovering and exact maneuvering. Its streamlined hull allows a comparatively high yet undisclosed cruising speed.
Photo credit Mariasole BIANCO
The ultimate book of Special Forces subs Covert Shores 2nd Edition is the ONLY world history of naval Special Forces, their missions and their specialist vehicles. SEALs, SBS, COMSUBIN, Sh-13, Spetsnaz, Kampfschwimmers, Commando Hubert, 4RR and many more.
Check it out on Amazon
Italy essentially invented the modern art of underwater sabotage using combat swimmers, using it to great effect in World War One. And more famously during World War Two, when Italian frogmen riding the SLC ‘Maiale’ (’pig’) sunk a number of Allied vessels including the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant. The capability was reestablished soon after the War but has been kept very secret since. CABI Cattaneo going public with their export designs is thus a rare window into this world.
Photo credit Mariasole BIANCO
Although this is an export design it is a strong indicator of Italian Special Forces SDV capabilities. COMSUBIN (aka Incursori) are known to operate SDVs, submersible boats (also produced by CABI Cattaneo) and Rotinor Black Shadow diver propulsion vehicles in addition to RHIBs and other craft.
The Italian Navy has done a good job of keeping the exact details of its SDV capability out of the public eye. SDV cradles have been observed on some Italian submarines however.
Related articles (Full index of popular Covert Shores articles)
SDV Mk.9 SEAL Delivery Vehicle. w/Cutaway
COMSUBIN's submersible boat
SWSC (Shallow Water Combat Submersible) US Navy SEALs next gen' SDV
Cos.Mo.S Nessie Fast SDV submersible boat
Wholphin X2, Dolphin X1 and Piranha SDV-X
Cos.Mo.S CE4F 4-man SDV
Lockheed S301i, S351 and S302 Dry Combat Submersibles
Sphyrene and Coryphene SDVs
Narwal / Orca Dry Combat Submersible (UWTG)
USN Navy SEAL's UOES3 (Button 5.60) Dry Combat Submersible (DCS)
Proteus advanced SDV
Cos.Mo.S CE2F chariot
SWUV (/ PSM3G) advanced SDV
Naval Spetsnaz in Hybrid Warfare (Russian SDVs and DPVs)
SubSEAL advanced SDV
Rotinor BlackShadow 730 and Divejet 414 Diver Propulsion Vehicles
Ortega Mk.1 Swimmer Delivery Vehicle
CCH (Combat Craft Heavy) SEALION and Alligator Semi-Submersible Boats. w/Cutaway
World survey of Special Operations Craft
WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft
Styx riverine Special Forces craft
Barracuda Special Forces interceptors
Maritalia GST-23+ Midget Submarine