The trimaran-hulled, 1,100-ton Triton was launched on 6 May at Southampton by Vosper-Thornycroft for Britain's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. The 321-foot research ship is to test hydrodynamic and propulsion concepts for a new generation of surface combatants to be built following the Royal Navy's Type 45 guided-missile destroyer program. The U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command is cooperating in the trials program for the Triton, which is to be delivered this October. The 20-knot ship's unusual hull is expected to have 20% less wave-making resistance and will have 40% more main deck area than a conventional hull of the same displacement. The side hulls are 111 feet long and have beams of only 4.6 feet, and the main hull has a beam of 23 feet; overall beam is 74 feet.
By A.D. Baker III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World