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Contemporary Manned Submersibles

The following manned submersible examples provide a brief survey of the contemporary development of manned submersible vehicles utilized for marine science research and commercial applications.

Pisces II

Pisces II is representative of early manned submersibles built in the late 1960s. With a weight of 6.5 tons and a 1525 meter (5000 foot) operating depth, the Pisces series of submersibles were proven workhorses in offshore exploration. Note the relatively small conical viewports.


PC-1805 was the last vehicle built by Perry and was delivered to Shell Exploration in 1984 for a cost of $3.2 million. This large submarine weighs 15 tons and has a 305 meter (1000') operating depth and a large diver lock-out chamber with mixed gas capability.

Johnson SeaLink

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution built two of these 3000 foot capable acrylic submersibles for marine science research. The submersibles have evolved significantly in the last 15 years and actually weigh about 15 tons, nearly twice their original weight. The vehicles have diver lock out capability.

Marlin S-101

The Marlin S-101 represents a versatile small diesel electric submarine with 100 meter depth capability. This unit was originally operated by the Swedish Navy and is now is owned by the radical environmental group, the Sea Shepherd Society. However, they have yet to operate the submarine.


The SMAL-2 was built in the early 1990s by a French company that is no longer in business. The main segment of the pressure hull is composed of a vertically oriented acrylic cylinder. A five passenger version was also built.


Deep Ocean Engineering built two of these 2-passenger, 1000 meter capable submersibles for a French television company. Highly maneuverable, the submersibles cost $1.7 million and represent the current state-of-the-art in an acrylic vehicle.

Remora 2000

One of the most beautiful and functionally efficient submersibles ever built, Comex's Remora 2000 has a 600 meter depth rating and superior visibility. The cost of the Remora is $1.7 million.