Anti-wobble boat keeps low profile
A HIGH-SPEED landing craft unveiled this week by the US Department of Defense will not only stay steady at its top speed of 50 knots, but also produces virtually no wake. The vessel, dubbed Stiletto, is the prototype for a new breed of craft designed to carry troops and their equipment ashore without attracting attention.
Stiletto’s hull has a double-M shape that channels the wake under the craft. There it mixes with oncoming air to produce froth that lifts the ship part-way out of the water, reducing drag and increasing stability, says Greg Glaros, the programme’s leader at the defence department’s Office of Force Transformation.
The hull is made of carbon fibre, and the 27-metre-long, 12-metre-wide vessel will be able to haul around 37 tonnes. The prototype cost $6 million to build, and will be tested during this year.
A bit of googling turns up some more:
- M80 Stiletto
at M Ships, the M80’s manufacturer
- M80 Stiletto Photo Progress Report with pics of the construction (.pdf)
- New ship hull forms under development
Here’s another shot, for a sense of scale:
If you’ve got broadband, this 32MB Power Point slide show is sort of interesting.
For more info on the “how”, see this M Ship article: Jumping Catfish Batman!