means close-to-shore, and that's exactly where these ships will
operate. They're tailor-made for launching helicopters and
lightly-armored vehicles, sweeping mines and firing all manner of
torpedoes, missiles and machine guns. These ships are also relatively
inexpensive. This one is a bargain at $208 million and the Navy plans to
build 55 of them. This trimaran is the first of a new fire-breathing
breed, ready to scoot out of dry dock at a rumored 60 knots top speed.
It's like a speedy and heavily-armed aircraft carrier for helicopters.