"For us on a ship looking to reduce radar cross section, it's a radar beam from another ship or radar from a missile," he said.
The Ghost is designed for missions close to coasts, such as getting special operations teams into and out of areas quickly. Another possible mission would be dealing with pirates and "swarm" attacks on aircraft carriers and destroyers. Sancoff says the speed of the Ghost makes it useful against smaller boats that can outrun and outmaneuver larger ones. Contrary to popular belief, aircraft carriers and destroyers carry little in the way of defensive guns.
The 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen was accomplished with a small boat that simply ran into its side.
"Right now we have thousands of sailors whose only defense against high-speed craft is a .50 caliber machine gun from World War II," Sancoff said.
Eric Wertheim, analyst at the U.S. Naval Institute, says the big issue for a boat like the Ghost will be identifying its niche within the military.
"This is a tough budget time to be introducing any technology that isn't being specifically called for by the navy," he said. "For the last 100 years the stealth boat has been the submarine," he said. Submarines can do special ops missions too, as demonstrated by the fact that smugglers have recently made good use of them. "You have to answer the question of what is the need not being met," he said.