30/12-2007, updated 16/10-2011 by MS
Eliott Carver's floating HQ, a Stealth ship, is another example of mixed reality and fiction within the movie world. Such a ship exists in real - her name is Sea Shadow (code IX-529) and she was constructed by Lockheed as experimental unit for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) under the wings of US Navy. The ship was build in 1985, but served in secret until revealed to the public in 1994. It is rather small - 50m long, 572 tonnes of displacement, reaching only 10 knots... As an experimental unit Sea Shadow stays off the US Navy Register, hence her name are not prefixed "USS".
To make this ship more spectacular in the film, it had to be enlarged, so the production designers took over the topic. The effect was (I must admit) very impressive. A large ship of unusual shape on the big regular floaters and high leveled nose... Big enough to fit a numerous crew, threatening torpedo drill and missiles, and finally powerful engines making it fast like catamarans.
Mockup was built and filmed on the Rosarito tank in Mexico, while the interior of the ship and the middledeck were created in Pinewood Studios.
In my opinion, this could have been a really nice project, but one fatal scene destroyed the impression - the shot of the ship slowing down due to the engine sabotage. It is impossible to stop the ship of this size from full speed to zero on the track of few meters - but this toy stopped almost like beach ball, revealing typical mockup-toy behaviour. What a pity....
The Essential Bond, Lee Pfeiffer & Dave Worrall, Boxtree 1998, page 186.
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