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)
BuilderJames Fisher Defence[2]
AcquiredJune 2009[1]
Statusin active service, as of 2018
General characteristics [3]
Class and typeDSAR class submarine rescue vehicle[2]
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 manned 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.[4] 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.[4]


The LR5 submersible was used by the Royal Navy from 1978 to 2009. The LR5 was offered in the unsuccessful rescue of the crew of the Russian Kursk. Offers of assistance were refused by the Russian Navy and there were no survivors. Since June 2009, it is used by The Royal Australian Navy.

See also


  1. ^ "Remora replacement arrives". Australian Defence Magazine. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "DSAR Class Submarine Rescue Vehicles : Overview". James Fisher Defence. 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  3. ^ "DSAR Class Submarine Rescue Vehicles : Tech Spec". James Fisher Defence. 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b "LR5 Submersible Submarine Rescue Vessel". Retrieved 20 April 2021.

External links

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

  • Specifications at Jane's Naval Forces
  • Specifications at Naval Technology