The US Navy just launched the USS Independence -- a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) capable of 50 knot speeds combined with stealth characteristics. Instapinch has all of the photos (click on any of the pics, below, to visit).
The Navy Times adds:
The ship first saw the sun April 26 when workers at Austal USA moved the striking, aluminum-hulled trimaran out of its building shed and onto a floating drydock. The 417-foot-long ship was balanced on its center section while stanchions steadied the outriggers covering the craft’s 100-foot beam...
...Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, [General Dynamics'] competitor in the LCS program, marked an engineering milestone in late April when the USS Freedom’s two Fairbanks Morse diesel engines were run for the first time... The Freedom, launched in September 2006, is being built at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis. Lockheed Martin hopes to move the ship under its own power during engineering trials in May, and is expected to deliver the ship to the Navy in late summer.
The Navy plans to test each design against the other and in 2010 select a winner. A total of 55 LCS ships are planned.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin