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Posted: 2/1/2006 9:10:01 AM EDT
New Boat Offers Military Smoother Ride, Versatility


(‘Source: US Department of Defense; issued Jan. 31, 2006)


WASHINGTON --- Speed and flexibility make a new military high-speed vessel especially valuable for shallow-water operations, a Defense Department official said.

The "Stiletto," a shallow-water craft made of a tough, lightweight carbon composite material, offers a safer, more comfortable ride and is easily reconfigured to accommodate technological advances and the military's needs, said Navy Cmdr. Greg E. Glaros, a transformation strategist in the Office of Force Transformation.

"We can't predict the future," Glaros said. "Therefore, ... we better design systems that are ... flexible."

Stiletto was initiated in the DoD transformation office in association with U.S. Special Operations Command, he said. When fielded, the boat will be available for use my all services. It's meant to get special operations forces to their missions quickly with a top speed of more than 50 knots, Glaros said. Those forces, a total of 15 per boat, also could benefit from its unusual hull design.

Described as an "M-hull" because of its resemblance to the letter "M," the water Stiletto displaces is pulled through tunnels under the boat. The water mixes with incoming air from the forward movement of the craft and creates an air cushion that the boat rides on, he said.

Glaros said this cushion could be a back-saving benefit for those using Stiletto for transport. The vertical impact to the neck and the spine from riding on a traditional small transport craft have been likened to a "10-G shock," or the body suddenly weighing 10 times its own weight, at least twice an hour, he said. If a seat fails, that shock can spike to 20 Gs.

"At any given time, ... 30 percent of (small boat-operating teams) are 'medically down' because of injuries sustained while driving their boats," Glaros said. After about 10 years, most small-boat drivers are eligible for 100 percent disability by Department of Veterans Affairs standards, Glaros said.

Stiletto's other purposes include what Glaros describes as "techno exploration." Basically, he said, the boat is a floating experiment. The office wanted to understand the uses and the limits of composite materials in this type of application.

The boat's design also anticipates advances in technology, he said. "In our world today, the most powerful element is information," Glaros said. "For us, it would be folly to build anything that didn't have the means with which to connect to the outer world."

Stiletto's "electronic keel" provides that connection, he said. The system offers open access to its network for various uses by all services, Glaros said. Its plug-and-play nature makes it adaptable to advancing technologies.

"It'll (reduce) dramatically the cost of upgrades and, more importantly, it gives us options in the future so that we can change the mission and the configurations in the boat," he said.

While any force can customize the hull for a specific purpose, Glaros said, it was designed with servicemembers in mind. "They're at the heart of this," he said. "Give them something that they can change and manipulate on their own and doesn't damage them more than the enemy."

Fifteen months after the contract to build Stiletto was signed, the boat is considered "operational experimental," Glaros said, though he is uncertain when it will be fielded. The boat will be put through its paces with Naval Special Clearance Team 1 in early May.

To date, the ship has cost about $12.5 million, Glaros said. About one-fourth of that went to building computer-aided models and more operational testing.

-ends-



Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:15:21 AM EDT
Looks pretty cool, i wonder how it will perform.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:19:28 AM EDT
Tag
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:24:28 AM EDT
That's one scary, stealthy looking PT boat.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:25:30 AM EDT
The 2nd pic looks like the BATboat!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:25:39 AM EDT
incredible.


now who's gonna be the first on ARFCOM to give a "range report" on one?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:33:23 AM EDT
Powered by four 1,650HP Caterpillar C32 engines.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:40:27 AM EDT
One thing about composite materials is that they always look like they're photochopped when you see a picture.

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:47:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By osprey21:
Powered by four 1,650HP Caterpillar C32 engines.

www.mshipco.com/images/products/stiletto/stiletto_MG_0603.jpg



Holy crapping!!!!!!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:09:43 AM EDT
GROUP BUY!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:10:58 AM EDT
Damn, that's cool!!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:13:11 AM EDT
In light of this:"especially valuable for shallow-water operations" I have to wonder why they went with props instead of water-jet propulsion.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:21:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 10:22:01 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]
the navy/marine corps is looking at the stiletto as an addition to the amphib landing ship. the stiletto would pack zodiacs and be launched from the "mother ship".

ETA: from this week's "defense news".
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:22:36 AM EDT


That thing aint small!!

When they said small I was thinking, you know, RHIB.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:32:23 AM EDT
small boat my ass
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:39:06 AM EDT
Its a thing of beauty! But at 12.5 million to move 15 people... I guess its not as good as I thought. I hope it works well for our guys.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:43:02 AM EDT
Wow.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:58:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 10:59:42 AM EDT by SJSAMPLE]

Originally Posted By Stupidfly:
Its a thing of beauty! But at 12.5 million to move 15 people... I guess its not as good as I thought. I hope it works well for our guys.



15 people?
What happened to helicopters?
What happened to the V-22 Osprey?

What happened to budgeting?
Oh yeah, SOCOM doesn't really have a "budget".
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:00:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By C_F:
In light of this:"especially valuable for shallow-water operations" I have to wonder why they went with props instead of water-jet propulsion.


My guess is that those outdrives are similar in function to the 'Arneson Surface Drive System' which gives the best of both worlds.


Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:08:29 AM EDT
I don't beleive a boat that big (in comparison to the rig towing it) is designed to deliver only 15 men. Thing looks like it should be able to deliver 3 times that many.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:08:31 AM EDT
that sucker is freaking huge!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:36:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bumblebee_Bob: That's one scary, stealthy looking PT boat.
Yep. I don't think that's designed to deliver foot soldiers. That's a missile boat.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:56:24 AM EDT
I agree. I don't see how that big of a boat would be used to deliver only 15 troops. The reason I thought that was due to the fourth paragraph/sentence. Maybe they meant it had a crew of 15 people. It would make a pretty kickass launch platform for a variety of missles either way.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:58:40 AM EDT
Quick! To the Bat Cave!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:00:03 PM EDT
am i the only one who thought of Thunder in Paradise when they saw this?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:15:43 PM EDT
How is a soldier supposed to get a tan on the deck of that boat. What a waste of space!!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:17:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Quick! To the Bat Cave!
www.fantasfilm.com/image/x-batman-et-robin-cc1.jpg



My thought as well.

But you just had to pick the batsuit that has the nipple on it, didn't you?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 1:17:27 PM EDT
Freaking hard core man!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:24:35 PM EDT
Can it chew bubblegum?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:30:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LHD:
Can it chew bubblegum?



It could, but its all out.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:33:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Quick! To the Bat Cave!
www.fantasfilm.com/image/x-batman-et-robin-cc1.jpg



My thought as well.

But you just had to pick the batsuit that has the nipple on it, didn't you?



CoC violation?

Definitely makes me think of Batman...
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:37:08 PM EDT
I wonder how many skiers it could pull up
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:54:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stupidfly:
I agree. I don't see how that big of a boat would be used to deliver only 15 troops. The reason I thought that was due to the fourth paragraph/sentence. Maybe they meant it had a crew of 15 people. It would make a pretty kickass launch platform for a variety of missles either way.



IIRC it had a crew of three. I think there has been talk of using the Netfires missle system in the boat as well.YYMV.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:10:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:14:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2006/20060131173826_11stilettopic-20060131.jpg



... geese, great thread an all man, but do you know how to size pix?

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:16:42 PM EDT
I was literally in the process, you beat me to the punch.

Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:07:52 PM EDT
Stiletto Experimental ship with carbon fiber M-hull design tops 50 knots (60mph)
(from gizmag.com)

February 5, 2006
The M80 Stiletto Experimental Vessel was launched this week offering a sneak peak at the next generation of military vessels. The Stiletto is an operational experiment by the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) and its revolutionary carbon fibre structure and hull enable it to operate in shallow water, with 50 knot speeds, stability and great stealth as part of its armoury.


Costing US$12.5 million to develop and build, the 88ft vessel is capable of carrying 37 tonnes at speed over a range of 500 nautical miles. The patented M-hull design transitions automatically and efficiently through hydrostatic, hydrodynamic and aerostatic lift modes with increasing speeds effectively creating a cushion of air and providing a comfortable high speed ride with great stability, and has enormous promise for a wide range of nautical applications for boats from 8 through 200 feet (see these stunning concepts).
The Stiletto is powered by four 1,650-horsepower Caterpillar engines, and can cruise comfortably near its top speed of more than 50 knots (60 miles per hour). With a shallow draft of less than 3 feet, Stiletto has a three man crew, and will carry a complement of 12 US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) commandos, an11 metre rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) and either Manta and Silver Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The M80 Stiletto initiative is part of OFT’s Wolf PAC Distributed Operations Experiment, conducted in association with USSOCOM, to explore command and control of geographically dispersed, but networked, autonomous and semi-autonomous military forces. This new concept of operations by the Department of Defense is in response to diffuse threats that are perceived as emerging in the future. An extensive overview of WolfPAC can be downloaded in PDF format here.

The M80 Stiletto and Wolf PAC operational experiment was USN (ret) Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski’s vision for a more adaptive force using high numbers of smaller, faster networked vessels designed for littoral, or near shore, waters and costing less to build than conventional ships, said Cmdr. Gregory Glaros, Stiletto’s project lead and a military transformation strategist who worked for Cebrowski. Cebrowski died last November, but the new Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), announced in January 2006, is, in effect, implementing the vice admiral’s vision for expeditionary combat in the 21st century, said Glaros.

“We are confident that the M80 Stiletto’s design is superior to all other existing technologies. Nothing else is out there that can achieve the qualities important to brown water vessels at a relatively low cost with short design and production cycles,” said Chuck Robinson, co-founder of San Diego-based M Ship Co. and a former deputy secretary of state with Henry Kissinger.

The 88-foot long vessel 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. The hull design does not require foils or lifting devices to achieve a smooth ride at high speeds in rough conditions. Its shallow draft means the M80 Stiletto can operate in riverine environments and potentially allows for beach landings. The fuel-efficient M80 Stiletto is equipped with four Caterpillar engines, yielding a top speed in excess of 50 knots (nearly 60 miles per hour) when fully loaded and can be outfitted with jet drives for shallow water operations and beaching.

“The M-hull form creates a natural surface effect that not only enhances top-speed performance, but uses the bow wave energy to reduce the overall wake signature,” said Bill Burns, co-founder of M Ship Co., noting that the military is also interested in 40- and 120-foot vessels of similar design. “This makes the boat faster and more maneuverable because it remains flat, with almost no heeling, even during high-speed turns. The vessel’s proprietary design also gives it a low-radar profile.”

The M80 Stiletto is also notable because it is the largest U.S. Naval vessel built using carbon fibre composite and epoxy building techniques, which yields a very light, but strong hull.

M Ship Co. leveraged its network of collaborative partners and subcontractors to build the M80 Stiletto in less than one year. Azimuth Inc. developed the vessel’s “electronic keel” -- a maritime 1 Gbyte local area network and data bus for networked plug and play of emerging technologies such as communications, surveillance and weapons systems. SP Systems provided the carbon fiber technology for the composite hull. The vessel was built by National City-based Knight & Carver Yacht Center.

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