JFD, a world leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defense diving markets, and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has announced its acquisition of all the assets, IP and designs rights of Ortega Submersibles BV, the Netherlands-based submersible boat designer and manufacturer.

The acquisition will enable JFD to expand further its offering of advanced Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) and to develop new vehicles and capabilities in order to meet increased market demand for specialized small and medium-sized craft.

1 OrtegaJFD, through its subsidiary JFD Ortega BV, will retain Ortega´s office and manufacturing facility and its whole team of designers and engineers at the established operational base in Enschede, The Netherlands.

JFD will also add to its existing SDV manufacturing capability based in Vaxholm, Sweden, and expand its offering to include new vehicle designs that will allow Special Forces operators to safely conduct and covertly challenging missions.

Giovanni Corbetta, managing director, JFD, said:

“Deploying Special Forces operators into their field of operations always has its challenges, but when it comes to covert operations in the open sea, safe insertion and extraction to and from the field takes on an even greater level of complexity and importance. Divers can become easily fatigued and exhausted if exposed for long periods in the open water, particularly where there is a need for submarines and surface vessels to be kept as far away from the area of operations as possible in order to avoid detection. This often requires divers to swim great distances unless there is an SDV capability in place suitable for their mission requirements.

“JFD´s SDVs primarily exist to facilitate the safe insertion and extraction of special operations forces and equipment. They have been developed with the needs of today’s operations in mind, enabling us to offer navies a broad range of vehicles to suit a variety of mission types and deployment methods. Through our acquisition of Ortega Submersibles, we will be able to expand our SDV offering, particularly for fully electric smaller and medium-sized boats, to ensure that Special Forces operatives have the means to safely insert and extract themselves from any operation and under any mission requirements. The partnership will strengthen the synergies between the two companies, whilst allowing engineers and designers to share their knowledge and experience to ensure there is an optimal SDV capability that meets the market’s needs for specialist submersibles.”

2 OrtegaJFD’s advanced range of SDVs are specifically designed to facilitate the safe insertion and extraction of Special Forces and their equipment from different types of vessels, providing navies with the capability to deliver the payload (operators) safely to their intended point of insertion at a high level of readiness. In all JFD SDVs, operators are shielded from the water stream, enabling them to retain warmth and reduce the cold water temperature exchange rate. This minimizes the physical impact of the insertion or extraction operation and ensures divers are able to keep fatigue to an absolute minimum.

Development, testing and trials of JFD’s existing range of SDVs has taken place in the Stockholm archipelago, the Baltic Sea, Portland harbor and the waters off the west coast of Scotland. Fully tailored to customer requirements, the vehicles combine the Swedish commitment to safety-led design and the ship-building heritage of the Clyde; all underpinned by a unique operational pedigree with operator input at all stages of this process. The expansion of this through the acquisition of the facilities and the team in Enschede will allow JFD to continue to build on this heritage.

JFD provides advanced SDVs to a number of notable navies. As an established capability provider, and operating worldwide, JFD has in its portfolio a comprehensive range of products, services and aftercare solutions for the defense industry, including Special Forces, law enforcement, counter terrorism, maritime protection and mine countermeasures.

EC Hambro Rabben & Partners acted as financial advisor to JFD.

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