The Sea Shadow is an experimental stealth ship designed by the US Navy, Lockheed and DARPA ( Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The Sea Shadow was ordered in 1982 to examine the applicability of stealth technology on naval vessels as well as a test bed for automatic on-board systems to reduce the number of crew members.
Sea Shadow was delivered on March 1, 1985 and was never fully commissioned by the US Navy. Incorrectly referred to as the USS Sea Shadow, she has a SWATH hull design. SWATH means Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. This twin-hull design ensures high stability in high seas and high speeds. The two hulls below water are connected by two angled struts. Angled surfaces are a trademark of stealth technology, and Sea Shadow has more similarities with the F-117 Nighthawk than a conventional vessel. The Sea Shadow was built inside the Hughes Mining Barge at Lockheed’s Redwood City facility. She was operated only at night to keep it a secret. In 1994 the Sea Shadow was revealed to the public and is currently available for donation to a maritime museum. The knowledge gained with the Sea Shadow is currently used to develop the next generation of combat vessels for the US Navy.