General Dynamics Mission Systems has delivered the first Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), designed for surface mine countermeasures, to the U.S. Navy. The contract with the Navy encompasses five Knifefish systems (for a total of 10 UUVs) and support equipment.
The Knifefish SMCM (surface mine countermeasure) is a medium-class UUV intended for deployment from the Navy’s littoral combat ships and other Navy vessels of opportunity. The system will reduce risk to personnel by operating within minefields as an off-board sensor while the mothership stays outside the minefield boundaries.
General Dynamics Mission Systems is the prime contractor for the Knifefish program. The company designed the tactical UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions. The platform is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).
Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager at General Dynamics Mission Systems, commented: “Together with the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants, our Knifefish team has worked to deliver critical mine countermeasure mission capabilities to protect our Sailors. We designed Knifefish using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions.”