The new generation submarine escape system


The existence of the HABETaS project was announced during the SubCon2003 conference in Kiel.

It is now 10 years on from the start of the project.

In June 2009 after more than 6 years of progressive development the project announced its launch customer. The Royal Netherlands Navy had selected HABETaS as the new generation equipment to retrofit its Walrus class submarines.

Now in 2013 the outfitting of the final Walrus class submarine with HABETaS is reaching completion.

HABETas has been extensively trialled and in May 2012 open water ESCAPEX trials were conducted from HNLMS Zeeleeuw in Norwegian waters.

Development continues. More information will be made available at the Industry Reception SMERWG Amsterdam June 2013.

HABETaS is a joint venture programme shared between three European companies.


a world leading submarine designer and builder based in Kiel, Germany.

HDW is now part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems


a highly innovative systems design company based in Gosport, United Kingdom.

BFA Augsburg

a world leading manufacturer of marine safety equipment based in Augsburg, Germany.

BFA has now been acquired by the Survitec group a multinational organisation based in the UK which specialises in survival equipment.


Testing History

The HABETaS project has now completed the test and proving stages in development.


The initial tests were carried out in the Submarine Escape Similator (SES) at QinetiQ Alverstoke in the United Kingdom.

HABETaS has now been tested in the SES for simulated escapes to depths greater than 550 metres.

The picture to the right shows the HABETaS SPES and gas systems inside a tower mockup inside the SES.

The next tests were carried out at the Royal Navy SETT in Gosport UK. These trests qualified the suit for manned use.

Final testing in a test tower that modelled the HDW 209 class was carried out at the Kockums shipyard test facility in Malmoe Sweden.


The concept of HABETaS has been derived looking to the future. The system is poised ready to exploit advances in physiological research for many years to come.

Following completion of these tests HABETaS is now available for sale to the world's submarine operating navies.

HABETaS is a complete fully integrated system comprised of :-

• a new escape tower design

• a new advanced tower operation management system

• the new enhanced SPES submarine escape garments

Installation can be made at newbuild or during a major refit. When a submarine is already equipped with a suitable tower then it may be possible for the installation to be carried out without dry docking.

Escape for the Future









More information:

HABETaS Leaflet




HABETaS Launch Customer


HABETaS in SES Alverstoke

HABETaS in Malmoe

HABETaS in Malmoe

HABETaS in Malmoe







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