US Navy, GD test Knifefish minehunting capabilities

The U.S. Navy and the General Dynamics Mission Systems Knifefish team recently completed an evaluation of Knifefish, an autonomous surface mine countermeasure (SMCM) unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV).

The test events took place off the coast of Boston using submerged navy mine test targets.

According to General Dynamics, the evaluation demonstrated the UUV’s capability to detect and classify potential mines, at a variety of depths.

“The information and situational awareness Knifefish will deliver to sailors is a quantum leap in clarity and accuracy over other mine-hunting systems currently used by the Navy,” said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager of maritime and strategic systems for General Dynamics Mission Systems.

Simulating mine-hunting missions, the UUV located and classified mine test targets submerged at various depths and on the seafloor. Knifefish is also capable of locating and identifying mines buried in the seafloor.

Knifefish will undergo additional at-sea testing this year to further refine system performance in advance of formal system acceptance testing with the navy.

General Dynamics Mission Systems is the prime contractor for the navy’s Knifefish program. The company designed the tactical UUV using an open architecture concept. The Knifefish UUV is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water AUV.