Your eyes weren't playing tricks on you if you saw a sleek, space-age looking vessel speeding around local waterways last week.
The Department of Defense's high-speed, experimental boat -- the M80 Stiletto -- was in town to test electronic equipment linked to SPAWAR, which provides technology solutions to support the U.S. military.
The vessel, made by the M Ship Co., arrived July 19 before heading back Saturday for its home port, the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va.
There are no plans for the Stiletto to return to Charleston anytime soon, either for testing or to eventually be ported here on a long-term basis, said Lonnie Cowart, SPAWAR spokesman. SPAWAR operates at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station.
The 88-foot long, 60-ton Stiletto is part of the new wave of experimental boats being pursued by the Pentagon. It has been tested for a variety of missions, including combatting illegal trafficking in the Caribbean.
According to the Navy's Southern Command, the vessel's hull construction and M-shaped design make it lightweight and easy to maintain. It can go nearly 70 mph in calm seas and operate in shallow waters, according to M Ship's website.
Other capabilities include mine-clearing, performing special operations and delivering humanitarian aid in the wake of a natural disaster.