Navy orders submarine escape suits

May 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

SHARON CENTER, Ohio, May 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has given the Survitec Group an initial order for escape suits for its submarine crews.

The RFD Beaufort Mk11 suit, or Submarine Escape Immersion Equipment, is a single-skinned suit full-body with a breathing device and affords protection from hypothermia. It also features an integrated life raft.

The suits were designed at Survitec Group's center of excellence in Birkenhead, U.K.

"We're extremely proud to be supplying our U.S. Navy submariners in what is a very important contract for Survitec and our workforce in Sharon Center [Ohio]," said David Abbott, managing director of Survitec's Ohio facility. "Our company pioneered submarine escape technology in 1952 and has continually evolved its offering to the current high standard of the SEIE Mk11."

The initial order – for "several thousand" -- RFD Beaufort SEIE Mk11suits is worth $25 million but the company said possible contract extensions could eventually lead to more than $60 million in orders.

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