M Ship Co. has been awarded a $6 million contract to build the M80 Stiletto, an advanced technology demonstration craft
. It will be used by the Department of Defense
to validate high speed, smooth ride quality and stealth characteristics of the company’s patented M-hull design and explore the scalability of dynamic lift technology. The lightweight carbon fiber composite craft will demonstrate special operation capabilities by launching and retrieving an 11-meter RIB, a 36-foot auxiliary craft for Navy Special Forces. It also will launch and operate unmanned vehicles. With a length of 80 feet and a width of 40 feet, the M80 Stiletto will provide accommodations for 15 persons and a large open area for installation of alternative weapon systems.
A dramatic departure from earlier military designs, the M80 Stiletto has the potential both to protect troops in combat and to keep the U.S. homeland safer by allowing a greater number of higher-speed patrols without a negative environmental impact. The M-hull’s inherent properties of bow wave suppression, shock mitigation, high speeds and fuel efficiency – all while retaining safety – make it an ideal solution for future navy ships operating locally and in duty areas around the world.
The Stiletto will play a vital role in the advanced Wolf PAC initiative undertaken by the DoD’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT). Overall goals include resolving some of the tactical and operational networked command and control challenges. OFT intends to explore the underlying rules for success and survival in complex environments such as the littoral and provide necessary flexibility for forces to modify capabilities for rapidly changing conditions.
Says Charles Robinson, President and Co-Founder of M Ship Co., “We are excited to have been chosen by the Department of Defense to provide a design for this project. After developing the M-hull for 6 years, we are proud that it is one of the fastest and most innovative hull forms on the water today.”
The Stiletto design will utilize the double M-hull, which uses bow wave energy to compress the air beneath the hull, creating an air cushion for increased propulsion efficiency. The double M-hull also will provide improved stability and seakeeping along with increased speed in its operations.
Says Bill Burns, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, “Stiletto’s performance potential will change the strategic use of water-based craft for Homeland Defense and Force Protection.”
M Ship Co. is the prime contractor, utilizing three other companies for this project: Knight & Carver YachtCenter, a small, HUBZone ship builder in San Diego providing ship construction facilities and expertise in sizeable composite projects; SP Technologies Ltd., an expert company in composite engineering services including structural design of some of the largest oceangoing ships; and SAIC AMSEC, a recognized expert in marine engineering and Navy technical support.
M Ship Co. is a privately financed research and design firm formed to develop the innovative M-hull technology, which is protected by six national and international patents. The M-hull, unlike anything seen before, evolved from a challenge to solve the serious problem of wave erosion to the ancient buildings of Venice, Italy. The resulting low-wake technology has since found other applications worldwide.