A £5million ($8million) prototype naval ship called M80 Stiletto has been launched by the Pentagon in the fight against drug smugglers. The US Department of Defence’s latest weapon looks like Batman toy and is able to glide across just three feet of water at speeds of 60mph thanks to its light and carbon-fiber construction.
The 88ft long Stiletto vessel can also transport commandos. Its rear cargo area holds a 36ft rigid inflatable boat that can carry an unmanned surveillance aircraft launched from the top of the boat.
Besides, the M80 Stiletto features radar-busting sleek and inward-sloping superstructure that help the vehicle be onto drug runners before they’ve seen it coming.
The M80 Stiletto was designed for combat near shore waters
The Stiletto weighs 60 tons, runs on four diesel engines that produce a combined 6,500 horsepower and displaces 45 tons of water. Its wave-piercing M-shaped hull allows it to keep maximum speed in rough seas while still providing a comfortable ride.
The M80 Stiletto can transport a separate rigid inflatable boat to carry boarding teams
The M80’s sleek lines resemble the styling of the caped crusader’s boats
The forward cabin is fitted with special seats that help absorb the shock from where the boat crashes
The Stiletto was listed as one of the Best Inventions of 2006 and one of two inventions in the Armed Forces category by Time magazine. It was also named the Most Innovative New Product for 2006 in the General Technology category by San Diego-based CONNECT.
It has been designed and built by the Californian-based boat builders M Ships
The M80 Stiletto prices between $6 and $10 million
In 2006 and 2007, the Stiletto participated in Trident Warrior exercises. One year later, it continued to undertake a 70-day mission for USSOUTHCOM as part of a joint agency operation that included the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Coast Guard