Of the several advanced hull forms being evaluated for future naval platforms, one of the most unusual is the craft named Stiletto. The unusual aspects of the Stiletto include the origins of her design, the craft's sponsorship, her performance, and her box-like appearance-the antithesis of the image of the dagger with a slender, tapering blade, for which the craft is named.
The Stiletto design was developed in response to the frustration of the Doge (chief magistrate) of Venice at the wakes created by high-speed boats moving through the city's canals. Charles Robinson, a friend of the Doge, responded by developing a small craft that created little wake at higher speeds. Robinson, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a deputy Secretary of State during the Ford administration; today he designs advanced small craft.
When officials of the Office of Force Transformation in the Department of Defense learned of Robinson's design, he was engaged to determine if his design could scale up to a craft that might be useful for special operations forces, whose craft might be detected by their wakes.