The Navy's new fast ship is nearly 90 feet long, 40 feet wide and attacks like a sea serpent. It's packed with banks of computers, flat-panel video screens and shock-absorbing chairs to smooth a ride that reaches speeds of more than 50 mph.
Since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon planners have sought to make the military a more diverse force that can fight small insurgencies as well as large battles. The Pentagon requested a high-tech ship capable of delivering SEAL commandos and unmanned vehicles in 2004. The military chose a small firm in San Diego, M Ship Company, that had designed civilian craft but never a Navy vessel. The ship was completed 15 months from contract signing.