Knifefish UUV programme makes progress
The US Navy’s programme to deploy the Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) has reached a new milestone, with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GD AIS) successfully completing the comprehensive risk reduction programme.
The risk reduction work is designed to discover any potential systems defect early on in the programme's development phase. The configuration item test (CIT) successfully verified key components within the UUV system including subsystem tests of key payload components (high-fidelity SONAR and ultra-high-density data storage/recording), key propulsion components (quieter, more powerful propulsion) and key software interface elements.
Tom Mason, senior program manager, GD ASI, said: ‘Overcoming unique size, weight and power challenges are keystones to the successful deployment of the navy's Knifefish programme. Completing these early discovery programmes is critical for meeting the programme's schedule and cost requirements.’
GD AIS was awarded a contract to design and build Knifefish in September 2011. When the system enters service in 2017, it will form a critical part of the navy's Littoral Combat Ship mine warfare mission package, providing the fleet mine warfare commander and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capabilities. Knifefish will also reduce risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
PESCO said the project would take lessons learned from trials during REPMUS and look to build closer cooperation with industry for further testing of new technologies.
The US Army live-fire test evaluated the performance of the C-UAS system of systems before operational use.
With the Arabian Gulf representing a vast maritime area for crewed vessels to patrol, USVs and UUVs could become the US Navy's eyes and ears in the region.
Describing its technology as akin to shipping containers for UAVs, TB2 Aerospace believes its cargo system for drones could yield benefits for tactical resupply.