in this week’s edition of the national news magazine. Dubbed “Low Rider” by the magazine’s editors, the 88-foot, M-hull Stiletto was singled out for its ability to travel at high speed -- nearly 60 mph -- with a heavy payload, yet drawing only three feet of water. This allows the nimble craft to operate near the shore and in harbors and rivers, which is where the U.S. Navy believes most future naval combat operations will take place.
“This is a great honor for our company and all the people who contributed to making the Stiletto a success,” said Bill Burns, executive director of M Ship Co. “The entrepreneurial culture at M Ship, with its Rapid Empirical Innovation (REI) process and Virtual Shipyard system, allowed us to deliver this unique vessel to the Pentagon on time and under budget.”
The M80 Stiletto was designed and built as an operational experiment for the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) and as an example of the next generation of military vessels that combines new materials (carbon fiber), with a networked architecture and a revolutionary hull. The vessel was launched in January and has participated in joint military training exercises off the California coast.
The OFT took possession of the first M80 Stiletto in March to begin operational testing and will showcase the futuristic-looking vessel -- it’s been described as a “Bat Boat” and looking more like a spaceship than a water craft -- next year when the Stiletto charges up Chesapeake Bay to Washington. A 40-foot military craft is also in the works.
The Stiletto marks a breakthrough in naval architecture, featuring M Ship Co.’s patented M-shaped hull that provides a stable yet fast platform for mounting electronic surveillance equipment or weapons, or for conducting special operations.
Historically, ships have evolved to become narrower and deeper to achieve speed and stability. The M Hull® represents a true breakthrough because its distinctively wide hull captures the vessel’s bow wave and redirects the energy under the hull. This enables the craft to achieve an unequaled ride in rough seas at high speed, which is critical for the Special Operations Forces, because it reduces the G-forces and related injuries these personnel are subjected to during training and on missions.
The vessel was also constructed in about half the time and for less cost than traditional vessels of similar length. Moreover, the M80 Stiletto, constructed of space-age composites, is the largest carbon fiber vessel ever built for the U.S. military.
The M Hull® design used in the Stiletto is adaptable to many sizes and shapes. Proposed designs range from small sailboats and sport boats for recreational use to large ships for commercial as well as military applications. The ingenious hull shape is already being used in commercial and recreational applications, ranging from passenger ferries in Venice, Italy, to sportfishing boats.