Commenter Murc points out that the stealth speedboat noted last Friday is most likely a SEALION (SEAL Insertion, Observation, Neutralization) technology demonstrator. While not planned to enter full-scale production, the first SEALION has been in testing for some time and a second will be delivered later this year.
As a technology demonstrator, SEALION I is not armed but is designed accept a variety of modular mission payloads and could accept a modular weapons system, according to program officials. SEALION II is being designed to accommodate a short-range strike missile, to demonstrate a modular payload with a precision-strike capability.Navy officials said "there will be no test firing of the missiles from SEALION II nor will the craft be delivered with missiles."SEALION II will be slightly longer that SEALION I and feature several new capabilities, including a pop-up infrared imaging system built by DRS Technologies (Parsippany, N.J.), as well as a modular mission payload bay. The boat also features the Craft Integrated Electronics Suite, built by Azimuth Inc., a West Virginia-based company specializing in high-technology services. The electronics suite, along with a local area network computer, will enable SEALION II to operate with a two-man crew, instead of the three needed by SEALION I.As I noted on my own site, Special Forces always get the cool stuff.--posted by Murdoc