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LR5 rescue vehicle is lowered into the water by a crane from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Fennica
LR5 rescue vehicle is lowered into the water by a crane from the Fennica
OwnerRoyal Navy
OperatorRoyal Australian Navy (Leased)
BuilderForum Energy Technologies [2]
AcquiredJune 2009[1]
Statusin active service, as of 2018
General characteristics [3]
Class and typeDSAR class submarine rescue vehicle[4]
Tonnage24 t (24 long tons; 26 short tons) (in air weight)
Length9.6 m (31 ft)
Beam3.2 m (10 ft)
Depth2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Propulsion2 × 10 kW (13 hp) electric motors
Speed3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph)
Endurance10 hours
Test depth650 m (2,130 ft)
Capacity1,200 kg (16 persons)

The LR5 is a crewed submersible which was used by the British Royal Navy until 2009 when it was leased to support the Royal Australian Navy. It is designed for retrieving sailors from stranded submarines and is capable of rescuing 16 at a time.[5] The Royal Navy now has the use of the NATO Submarine Rescue System.


Only two crew members are needed for the use of the LR5 but in normal conditions, usually three crew members are used — the pilot, the co-pilot, and the system operator. For the operating conditions, the LR5 is able to operate in seastate conditions of 5 m maximum and its safe operating depth is limited to 500 m. Eight trips can be done with the LR5 before battery recharge is needed, which makes the LR5 able to save 120 sailors on one full charge of eight trips. The LR5 submersible is fitted with an integrated navigation and tracking outfit. This system, developed by Kongsberg Simrad, integrates the surface and subsea navigation data.[5]


The LR5 submersible was used by the Royal Navy from 1978 to 2009.

Originally Manufactured by Vickers Slingsby, which became Slingsby Engineering, then Perry Slingsby Systems and is now Forum Energy Technologies (FET).

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the British Defense Ministry contracted with Global Crossing, a company with a marine underwater cable business, to maintain and operate the LR5. Global Crossing used the submersible in their cable business and was also required to keep it ready to respond to emergencies.[6]

Britain activated this agreement to help in the unsuccessful rescue of the crew of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. Global Crossing flew the LR5, and support vessels and crew, to the rescue site.[6]

Since June 2009, it is used by the Royal Australian Navy.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Remora replacement arrives". Australian Defence Magazine. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Submarine Rescue Systems".
  3. ^ "DSAR Class Submarine Rescue Vehicles : Tech Spec". James Fisher Defence. 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Submarine Rescue Systems".
  5. ^ a b "LR5 Submersible Submarine Rescue Vessel". Naval-technology.com. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  6. ^ a b DOUGLASS, ELIZABETH (19 August 2000). "Rescue Mission Steers Craft Operator Into Uncharted Waters". Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]

Media related to LR5 (submarine, 1978) at Wikimedia Commons