Viper (rebreather)

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Viper-SC rebreather

Viper is a make of electronic-control closed circuit mixture rebreather originally manufactured by Carleton Life Support (subsequently acquired by British defense contractor Cobham plc) and fitted with the Juergensen Defense Corporation Mark V Electronic Control System. It is designed for use by combat Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and for diving to remove naval mines which may be sensitive to sound and anything magnetic. The technology is derived from the Carleton SIVA 55 rebreathers.

It is worn in a wings-type stab jacket which incorporates two breathing bags, one on each side. All of its components are on the back, exposed, not in a backpack box as with many modern rebreathers. It can have a mouthpiece or a variety of fullface masks. It is designed to be silent and non-magnetic.

Its wearer's abdomen front is clear, enabling the user to climb in and out of boats and over edges of walls, unlike the SDBA (which has a large absorbent canister across the abdomen front). The Viper has a large cylindrical absorbent canister lengthwise on the back, two spherical gas containers side by side below that, and occasionally, a bailout cylinder set crossways underneath. Two gas circulation tubes go from the hemispherical top of the canister, one to each breathing bag. It has the usual loop of corrugated breathing tube, with one end connecting to each breathing bag.


Three versions of it are made:

  • Viper SC Underwater Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Diving Apparatus
  • Viper Plus
  • Viper E Mixed Gas Underwater Breathing Apparatus


  • Maximum depth: Viper SC, 55 meters; Viper Plus, 90 meters; Viper E, 100 meters.
  • Operating mode: Viper SC and Viper Plus, Semi-closed or closed circuit; Viper E, automatic electronic closed circuit with 3 sensors and 2 independent systems to monitor partial pressure of oxygen. The Viper SC can be upgraded to fully closed circuit electronic gas mixing for 100 meter operations.
  • Dive duration: Viper E, 4 hours at 0 °C
  • Size: 78 cm = 30.7 inches high; 22 cm = 8.66 inches wide at top; 43 cm = 16.93 wide at hips; 24 mc = 9.45 inches deep.
  • Weight: Out of water, less than 30 kg = 66 pounds. In seawater, zero.

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