The Viking Underwater Escape Trainer is designed to be lifted by a gantry crane then immersed in a water tank. (Dytecna)
It might seem strange to train in a dunk tank, but that’s how U.K. Royal Marines will learn to escape from an amphibious vehicle, the BvS 10 Viking. U.K.’s Dytecna Engineering has delivered an underwater escape trainer based on the BAE Systems Sweden tracked vehicle to the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
The Viking Underwater Escape Trainer will be based at the Underwater Escape Training Facility at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in southwest England, where Royal Marines already undergo helicopter escape training. The VUET can be picked up by a gantry crane and “dunked” in the facility’s water tank, giving up to 12 trainees the chance to familiarize themselves with the emergency escape drills that would be required should the vehicle be swamped by heavy seas and sink.
The Viking is an all-terrain vehicle that has a ship-to-shore swimming capability and is used primarily for beach landings, although it was also deployed to Afghanistan.
Dytecna made the shell of the VUET from stainless steel to enable it to withstand repeated immersions over its planned 25-year service life. It is configured to replicate the interior of the operational vehicle, including escape routes. Plans for the vehicle’s dimensions and structure were provided by the MoD.
The VUET is a first for Dytecna, whose previous products include C-130 fuselage trainers and fast-jet part-task trainers.