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Diver Propulsion Device (DPD)

The Diver Propulsion Device (DPD) is a battery-powered vehicle that can carry 2 men and their equipment below the water or along its surface.

It is employed as a clandestine insertion platform by combat divers with the Navy SEALs and USMC units such as MSOBs, Force Recon and Battalion Recon. Other users include Army Special Forces SCUBA teams. The devices allow combat divers to travel considerably further under water and emerge less fatigued than when moving under their own power.

The DPDs in use with U.S. military units are manufactured by STIDD Systems Inc. The devices feature hard coat anodized hulls made from welded marine grade aluminum. Buoyancy is provided by a closed cell PVC composite core. The front of the DPD features a clear polycarboante faceplate.

DPDs can operate down to 35 meters below the surface and have a range up to 12 kilometers. Average speed is 1.2 knots.

The standard and most commonly used model uses a single steerable low noise electronic thruster powered by a Lithium-Ion battery. An extended-range version features a second battery while a third, faster model boasts 2 independent thrusters with a battery powering each.

The DPD's depth and heading is controlled by a single-hand-operated yoke. The pilot station on DPDs house a magnetic compass and depth gauge. An optional navigation panel features a moving map display along with data from a bottom scanning SONAR.

With a length of 2.23 meters and an in-air weight of only 175 lbs, the DPD can easily be launched from a range of platforms, including CRRCs. It can be carried to and from the beach by its operators and air dropped into the water by parachute.

DPD Video

USMC Combat Divers operating the DPD.Video by STIDD

DPD - Specifications

Capacity 2 Combat Divers
Engine Lithium-Ion battery / 28VDC steerable electric thruster
Dimensions Length - 2.23 meters (deployed)
Length - 1.38 meters (stowed)
Width - 1.86 meters (deployed)
Width - 0.61 meters (stoweed)
Height - 0.61 meters (deployed/stowed)
Weight 175 lbs
Ranger 0-12 kilometers



Diver Propulsion Vehicle
Marines with the 24th MEU's Maritime Special Purpose Force train on a Diver Propulsion Device.
U.S. Dod photo by Cpl. Isaac Moore


Force Recon DPD
Marines with the Force Recon Platoon, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), travel close to the surface via DPD. When operating at surface level, the DPD and divers still presents a low profile.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone, 26th MEU Combat Camera/Released


Recon DPD
Marines with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion prepare to put their DPD into the water The DPD is small and light enough to be carried ashore for cacheing on land during a mission. It can also be cached submerged for up to 3 days.
U.S. DoD Photo by Cpl. Brandon Suhr

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