An unusual Navy vessel docked in Norfolk Virginia on Monday had passerby wondering about the $10million space age marine curiosity.
The M80 Stiletto, which name refers to its sleek design like that of the Italian shoe, is a carbon fiber stealth vessel originally built as an experiment for the Department of Defense.
While the ship was originally experimental, it has since been used in jobs for NASA to pick up pay loads after a rocket launch, as well as a stint in Colombia aiding in the war on drugs with a capture of 1,800 pounds of cocaine.
It’s operated by the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Its rear cargo area holds a 36ft rigid inflatable boat that commandos use and can carry an unmanned surveillance aircraft that can be launched from the top of the boat.
The 60 ton Stiletto runs on four diesel engines that produce a combined 6,500 horsepower. It displaces 45 tons of water.
The ships is revolutionary with its intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems.
It is capable of mine clearing and has the ability to travel in shallow water.
Its wave-piercing M-shaped hull allows it to maintain maximum speed in rough seas while still providing a comfortable ride.
It has been designed and built by the Californian-based boat builders M Ships and has gone into service with the US Department of Defense.