Knifefish UUV completes critical design review
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems has reported that its Knifefish surface-mine countermeasure unmanned undersea vehicle (SMCM UUV) has successfully completed its critical design review ahead of schedule.
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is developing the Knifefish system under a US Navy Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) contract awarded in September 2011. The system will form an essential component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasure (MCM) mission package, providing US Navy commanders and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capabilities.
With the completion of the critical design review, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will now begin the development of the system hardware and software to integrate the approved design via the fabrication of three engineering development modules.
Knifefish will address the navy's need to detect and classify mines resting on the seafloor and buried mines in high-clutter environments and areas with potential for mine burial. It will also gather environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems. Crucially, the system will help greatly reduce risk to navy personnel and ships by operating in minefields as an off-board sensor, while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. The modular, open Knifefish has been designed to integrate with both variants of LCS via the common LCS interface control document.
Lou Von Thaer, president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, said: ‘Knifefish is designed to be compatible with an open architecture platform, ensuring that the navy's mission systems will keep pace with technology and continue to evolve to meet current and future mission requirements.
‘The ease of the 'plug and play' integration with ship systems and mission modules allows for platform flexibility and quick reconfiguration of the whole mission package in response to the dynamic requirements the fleet will encounter day to day.’
The Knifefish system is expected to attain initial operational capability in 2017.
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