US Navy Tests UUV for Mine-hunting Operations
The General Dynamics Mission Systems Knifefish team completed a
comprehensive evaluation of Knifefish, an autonomous surface mine
countermeasure (SMCM) unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV). In
coordination with the U.S. Navy, the test events took place off
the coast of Boston using submerged Navy mine test targets. The
evaluation represents a significant milestone in the Knifefish
program and demonstrates the UUV's capability to detect and
classify potential mines, at a variety of depths, each posing a
unique threat to naval vessels operating in a mission area.
"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.
"The Navy continues to work with its industry partner, General
Dynamics Mission Systems, to develop, test, and deliver the
needed Knifefish capability to the fleet," Capt. Jon Rucker,
Program Manager for the Navy's Unmanned Maritime Systems Program
Office (PMS406) said. "The system performed well against a
variety of surrogate targets and we are confident we will refine
its performance to support the planned schedule in 2017."
Knifefish will undergo additional at-sea testing this year to
further refine system performance in advance of formal System
Acceptance Testing with the Navy.
A U.S. Navy program, Knifefish is a heavyweight-class mine
countermeasure UUV intended for deployment from Navy surface
vessels. Knifefish will reduce risk to personnel by operating in
the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship 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 that may face
future naval operations. The Knifefish UUV is based on the
General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water AUV.
Mar 20, 2017