The M80 Stiletto is part of OFT’s Wolf PAC Distributed Operations Experiment for identifying methods of transforming military operations for modern warfare. The “advanced technology craft” was developed to investigate what it will take for the U.S. military to “dominate and succeed” in operations conducted increasingly in a littoral, or shallow water, environment close to coast lines or in rivers. The capability to perform these so-called “brown water” operations is deemed critical the 21st century Navy.
“The M80 Stiletto effectively implements the vision of USN (ret.) Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, who foresaw the need for a fleet of ‘streetfighters’ that would allow the U.S. Navy and U.S. Special Operations Forces to move in quickly, perform a mission, and get out,” said Chuck Robinson, co-founder of San Diego-based M Ship Co. and a former deputy secretary of state with Henry Kissinger.
M Ship Co.’s patented M-hull design provides a fast, efficient and stable vessel for conducting a variety of military operations, including the launch and retrieval 11-meter rigid inflatable boats as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV).
“The dynamic lift from the proprietary channeled M-hull provides high-speed, shallow-water performance with a low wake signature that increases tactical maneuverability, while reducing operating costs through decreased fuel consumption,” explained Bill Burns, co-founder of M Ship Co. “And the vessel’s 40-foot width, combined with the lift from its planing tunnels, gives it greater stability than a conventional hull design.”
In addition, the composite carbon-fiber materials used in building the M80 Stiletto reduces the vessel’s weight as well as maintenance costs, while increasing cargo capacity.
An “electronic keel” allows the vessel to be quickly adapted to various missions: Using plug-and-play technology, the vessel’s operators can tailor its capabilities to their needs, whether communications, surveillance or weapons systems. The electronic keel incorporates a clustered super-computer that increases a tactical unit’s operational effectiveness by providing local processing power for real-time computational data gathering and information integration.
The M80 Stiletto is scheduled to participate in military exercises being conducted near San Diego, February through May, and near Norfolk, Va., this fall.
Some of the exercises include working with Naval Special Clearance Team One (NSCT-1) off Camp Pendleton to explore new ways of identifying and clearing mines in the water. The M80 will be used in conjunction with UAVs and UUVs launched from the Stiletto to identify the mines. In Virginia, the Stiletto will participate in Special Operations Forces exercises exploring approaches to anti-access warfare and Tiered Sensor Networking.
M Ship Co. is currently negotiating with several large companies to further develop and manufacture military and commercial vessels based on its proprietary M-hull design.