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A former colleague whose son is a Navy Seal sent me information about the soon-to-be-commissioned USS Independence, a littoral combat ship, or LCS. Something about big, stealth-looking, kick-ass ships really appeals to me. Designed by General Dynamics for operation in coastal areas, the LCS is fast and highly maneuverable. This “small, fast, affordable ship” — “affordable” in this case being something around $200M — has a trimaran hull. The LCS is 127.1 m long, has a max. beam of 30.4 m, and a 4.5 m draft. Top speed is something north of 45 knots, possibly as high as 60 knots. The picture above shows the Independence making a turn at an alleged 43-knot speed; its wake is impressively small and smooth.

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