GDMS Receives $72.8M Contract to Retrofit Knifefish UUVs

Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems (Image: GDMS)
Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems (Image: GDMS)

General Dynamics Mission Systems announced today that it was awarded a $72.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to retrofit five Block 0 Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems, which comprises 10 Knifefish SMCM vehicles. The retrofit requirements will enhance Knifefish operations at deeper depths, identify more complex target environments and provide more precise localization. Once complete, all 10 Knifefish Block 0 UUVs will be upgraded with the new requirements integrated and re-delivered in the Block 1 configuration.

“General Dynamics Mission Systems is honored to extend our support to the U.S. Navy with this increased capability on all five Knifefish SMCM systems,” said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager at General Dynamics Mission Systems. “We are proud to provide the Navy with advanced, state-of-the-art unmanned underwater vehicles, and we are dedicated to delivering this technology safely and quickly to our sailors.”

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Knifefish SMCM program advances to Block 1 with increased capabilities added to all five LRIP systems.

Knifefish Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

Knifefish is a medium-class Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) designed for deployment off the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Knifefish UUV provides the mine warfare commander with enhanced mine-hunting capability by detecting, classifying and identifying both buried mines and mines in high clutter environments.

A critical element of the LCS Mine Countermeasure (MCM) mission package, which is comprised of many different mine warfare platforms, including Knifefish, is its common open systems architecture design. Such modularity of the mission package allows for platform flexibility and quick reconfiguration of the whole mission package in response to evolving and dynamic mission requirements the fleet will encounter day-to-day.

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GDMS Receives $72.8M Contract to Retrofit Knifefish UUVs 3

Knifefish’s job is to detect, avoid and identify mine threats, reducing the risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. Knifefish also gathers environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.

General Dynamics Mission Systems

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 Knifefish SMCM UUV is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin®-21 deep-water autonomous undersea vehicle. The team is currently delivering the initial Block 0 units on the predecessor Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract. The UUVs are designed and developed out of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Quincy, Massachusetts and McLeansville, North Carolina facilities, and manufactured out of the company’s Taunton, Massachusetts facility.

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Knifefish UUV.

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