New Weapon for Covert Maritime Operations

030415-N-1050K-020 Camp Patriot, Kuwait (Apr. 15, 2003) -- Construction Electrician Robert Soto surfaces to provide placement information to a range safety officer (RSO) after placing 65lbs of high explosives underwater during a recent joint debris clearing operation. Petty Officer Soto and the members of Underwater Construction Team One (UCT-1), homeported in Little Creek, Va., work side-by-side with their Kuwaiti hosts on a daily basis re-shoring piers, and clearing underwater debris. UCT-1 is deployed conducting dive missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multi-national coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate IraqÕs weapons of mass destruction, and end the regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Joseph Krypel. (RELEASED)

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For the first time, British special forces have been equipped with a pistol that can kill enemy divers ­underwater from more than 30m.

UK’s Special Boat Service frogmen have been issued with the virtually-silent Heckler and Koch P11 pistol that can also be used to take out hostile forces above water.

During one counter-terrorist reconnaissance mission in Syria, a four-man SBS team fired the weapon, right, after stealthily emerging from the water, according to

The pistol was originally designed for the German special forces but has been redeveloped for use in covert ­maritime operations.

The rounds are fired using an ­electric power pack in the pistol, ­making the weapon silent and flashless – perfect for the special forces.

The pistol has five barrels and each fires a 7.62mm tungsten dart, as bullets would slow down too quickly underwater and would be useless over any distance of more than a couple of meters.

A military source said: “Frogmen need a close-protection weapon, something more than a knife – and the P11 is ideal. Its main limitation is that it takes ages to reload so once the five rounds have been fired, it is effectively useless.” UK Defense sources said the weapon has been used on several operations.