"Stealth" Boat Could Revolutionize Naval Warfare

Designer is working with defense contractor on 150-foot model

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011  |  Updated 12:19 PM PDT
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Juliet Marine Systems

The Ghost is designed to move very quickly and stealthily through water by generating a layer of gas around its underwater surfaces. Handout photo provided by Juliet Marine Systems Inc.

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A stealth boat that moves through water at high speeds and with near invisibility could revolutionize the Navy's ability to carry out special operations on water.

The craft, called The Ghost, moves by generating a layer of gas around submerged surfaces, greatly reducing friction. It's unique design makes it ideal for special operations, according to DiscoveryNews. The ship can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour and has a shape designed to reduce its visibility to radar, similar to the Navy's "Sea Shadow" project of the 1980s.

Gregory Sancoff, president and chief executive officer of Juliet Marine, said the  U.S. government is interested and his company is working with a defense contractor to build a 150-foot model. The friction reducing gas technology, called supercavitation, works by generating a low-pressure zone around the ship's surface.

The Ghost keeps a low radar profile the same way stealth planes do, by making the radar waves bounce off of its surface.

Sancoff said The Ghost is ideal for missions close to coasts, such as getting special operations teams into and out of areas quickly. It could also be deployed against pirates and even used to attack on aircraft carriers and destroyers.

Eric Wertheim, analyst at the U.S. Naval Institute, told DiscoveryNews the boat's makers must show it can do what a submarine can't.

"This is a tough budget time to be introducing any technology that isn't being specifically called for by the Navy," he said. "You have to answer the question of what is the need not being met."

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