International Submarine Engineering (ISE) has been directly involved in defense and commercial contracts for the last 4 decades. Equipment for use by various navies has been designed, manufactured, tested, and successfully supplied by ISE to these organizations. The Canadian Navy, the United States Navy, the French Navy, the Japanese Defense Force, and the Australian Navy plus several others have purchased both off-the-shelf vehicles and vehicles specifically designed to meet a defense mission requirement. The following gallery provides a snapshot of some of the notable projects delivered by ISE for military, commercial, and private clients.



TROV N is a 40HP 1000 meter diving depth Torpedo Recovery vehicle built for the US Navy. An upgrade to the system included manipulators, torpedo clamps, and deburial equipment. The vehicle has been used on both US and Canadian torpedo ranges on the Pacific Coast.

TROV has also been used for accident investigation, torpedo recovery, and salvage.
The TROV N is the early predecessor of ISE’s current family of HYSUB ROVS (Can be viewed in greater detail on the ROV product page).


TRAILBLAZER 30HP has seen steady updates to the current version which can be viewed on the ROV product page. ISE’s Mine Countermeasure ROV products have been used in the USA, UK, Norway, Denmark, Oman, Australia, Brazil, and Canada. Midwater and bottom mines have been inspected and recovered as depicted in the following images.

Typical Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Operations


SPAWARS CRS is a Hysub 150HP vehicle used for cable retrieval and burial to a depth of 2000 meters. Two CRS ROVs were used by the US Military Sea Lift Command to maintain and repair underwater cables.
Customers for these vehicles include the US Navy.

Deep Seabed Intervention System

DSIS (Deep Seabed Intervention System) is an advanced Hysub 40HP ROV. It has an A-frame, cage, and winch system. This vehicle was sold to Canada’s Department of Defence.
DSIS was used for general inspection and salvage work.

It has also been used for human remain and hardware recovery at the Swiss Air 911 crash site off Peggy’s Cove in 1998.



ARCS is ISE’s first AUV and the first obstacle avoidance vehicle in the world. Since 1983 it has been used for the development and demonstration of AUV technologies. This has included development of mission controllers, navigation systems, variable ballast and trimming concepts, and advanced power sources.

ARCS has autonomous control, waypoint processing, OAS navigation, and guidance capabilities. Over 800 dives have been conducted. Recently a 60 kWh aluminum oxygen fuel cell was successfully tested on a 35 hour run.

Users of ARCS vehicle systems include Canada’s DND, John Hopkins APL, Rockwell International™ and Fuel Cell Technologies. ARCS is still available for commercial or military projects but has given way to more current products including the ISE Explorer and Theseus AUV (see AUV product page).



DOLPHIN is ISE’s diesel powered semi-submersible AUV originally developed for offshore survey and mine countermeasures.

During the First Gulf War (Desert Storm) the US Navy acquired two off-the-shelf ISE Dolphins for MCM research and the development of a remote minehunting system.

Under a DARPA contract, single beam Klein sidescan sonars were integrated into the vehicles and demonstrations were provided to the Navy.

DOLPHIN and USS JOHN YOUNG (DD-973) conducted a successful remote mine hunting operation in March 1995.

Dolphin has had an evolutionary development process that began with RMS(V)-1 which towed the AN/AQS-14 mine hunting sonar and had a commercial forward looking sonar. Dolphin was developed to provide a stable platform for operation in high sea states.

USS John Young operated this system using a line-of-sight data link after the vehicle was launched from a shore location during Exercise ‘Kernel Blitz’.


The Towfish is an actively stabilized towed vehicle that was developed primarily to carry mine countermeasure sonars.
The purpose of using an active Towfish is to reduce scope, enhance line following, and shorten turns.

This image is the Dolphin MKII with an Aurora Towfish deployed from the USS Cushing (DD985 Spruance Class) in 1990 during the first Gulf War.


Pressurized Rescue Modular System

PRMS (Pressurized Rescue Modular System) is a submarine rescue vehicle built for the US Navy.
OceanWorks Ltd was the program manager, and provided the handling and lock out chamber.
ISE provided the propulsion, control systems, consoles, and control van.


SAILARS was tested at the Institute of Marine Dynamics in St John’s, Newfoundland.

SAILARS towing tank trials, St John’s, Newfoundland.



TAURUS is a large payload lockout submersible.


WRANGLER is a Canadian Forces manned or remotely controlled underwater vehicle.


The SDL-1 is a 13,000kg manned submersible rated for operations to 700 meters. It has space for up to 6 people. ISE won competitive contracts to refit the submersible in 1983, 1987, 1991, and 1995.

The vehicle is operated by the Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic), an Agency of the Department of National Defence. The vehicle is used for salvage operations and to support scientific research on the Atlantic Coast. SDL has a diver lockout capability.


PAGOO is a recreational submarine deployed from a private yacht and designed and built to customer specifications. This is an 8 passenger, 1000 foot diving depth submersible.


The ODYSSEY is a general-purpose tourist submersible. It is a battery-powered, free swimming vessel which carry passengers through tropical waters in air conditioned comfort.


Search & Rescue Portable Air Launchable

SARPAL (Search and Rescue Portable Air Launchable) is a remotely operated, air-droppable, diesel-powered marine vehicle (MV) developed by ISE to provide an effective means to recover victims in marine crisis. The main tube is inflated on deployment from the aircraft, and the weatherhead erects upon landing in the water.

TV cameras are fitted fore, aft, and inside the boat.
The forward camera is used during the approach to the person in the water; the aft camera can be used to monitor entry; the camera inside is used to monitor the individual recovered.


SEAL is a diesel powered marine air droppable rescue vehicle with waypoint processing. Inflated it measures 6 ft (h) x 13.75 ft (beam) and deflated it stows in a 30 inch diameter Cod Pod. It was the progenitor to SARPAL.

Both SEAL and SARPAL are remotely controlled from an aircraft or satellite. Applications including covert insertion and extraction work have been done with infrared, video, and acoustics.