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National Defense > Blog > Posts > Navy SEALs Could Use James Cameron's Deep-Dive Technology
Navy SEALs Could Use James Cameron's Deep-Dive Technology
By Eric Beidel

— Film director James Cameron caused a commotion in March went he plummeted to the deepest part of the ocean in what he called a “vertical torpedo.”

The vehicle, which was built secretly in Australia, has caught the attention of the Navy SEALs.

It took Cameron about two-and-a-half hours to travel down to the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, located more than 6 miles below the surface of the ocean. It took a little more than an hour coming back up. He is the first person to attempt such a trip since 1960, when two Navy divers visited the deep-sea valley. Unlike other underwater craft, Cameron's vehicle is vertical and stretches about 25 feet. He had the pod designed with the intention of using it for deep-sea research, but special operators could use something like it as well, said Navy Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus, commander of Naval Special Warfare Command.

“That's great technology,” he said at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. “And he probably didn't pay as much as the Navy would charge us to build that thing. But it's truly advanced and there are applications for special operations.”

Pybus said that Navy SEALs have to be prepared to operate and move in waters where it will become more difficult to hide. He called on industry for ideas on how to operate in a more complicated undersea and littoral environment.

“I expect the undersea environment 10 years from now to be just as cluttered as our aviation environment is today with all kinds of sensors and transportation and autonomous vehicles,” Pybus said. “We intend to have capability there . . . That's our domain down there.”


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