Naval Catamarans? (8/7/05)

Today, a bit of news on the military R&D front.

The US Navy has been exploring a multi-purpose catamaran. The craft, which would be far smaller and lighter than conventional naval vessels, could be configured for a number of purposes, including hit-and-run operations, using its light weight, size, and speed to conduct operations on a smaller scale. Such a concept could give the Navy the operational flexibility to better handle unconventional small-craft tactics, such the single boat which hit the USS Cole.

Interestingly enough, a similar vessel was used by Elliot Carver, the media-mogul-turned-villian character in the 1997 James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies". In shades of the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800's (which some attribute to helping spark the Spanish-American War) a stealth catamaran of nearly the same design was used in an effort to provoke a war between Britain and China by covertly sinking a British naval vessel, then shooting down nearby Chinese fighter jets.

I've been saying that the Bond movies have been moving away from the fantasy villans and making more of an effort to seem like they're just a degree away from what is really happening (such as rogue ex-Soviets, North Korean provocateurs, mega-media barons manipulating opinion and events), giving the movies a greater sense of realism.

From Bond fiction to Navy reality - coincidence, or great homework by the Bond writers? What do you think?

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