Photo: Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 Danjaq, LLC, & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved
Tomorrow Never Dies Gadgets
Invisible to RADAR, Elliot Carver’s Stealth Boat is a new twist on the baddie’s lair.
And what a ship it was.
Developed by the US Navy in 1985, the 170 foot wide Sea Shadow was capable of 14 knots. The 563 ton vessel was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Lockheed Martin.
The purpose of the ship was to examine whether RADAR evading technology, so successful with military aircraft, could be applied to a sea going vessel. Sea Shadow proved it could encroach upon an aircraft carrier’s position without detection, and its angular design was incorporated in other naval ship designs, but it was never commissioned as a class of ship itself and remained in the Navy’s mothball fleet in California.
The Stealth Boat cost $172m to develop and the Navy wanted to give it away to a museum to partly amend for the financial outlay, but it remained classified and was eventually sold for $2.5m - most of the useful parts were scrapped.
Fascinatingly, although the ship was constructed in 1985 the public remained blissfully unaware of its existence for nearly a decade - the first major recognition of the vessel was in this James Bond film.
Quite brilliantly, the British Navy managed to keep their version secret until, ooh, just before it was launched. In the summer of 2012 similar technology was used to launch a 5,400 ton Type 26 Frigate that has the RADAR footprint of a small fishing boat.