Surface Mine Countermeasure UUV model unveiled
General Dynamics has announced that a quarter-scale model of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Knifefish Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV) has been unveiled at the US Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Representatives from General Dynamics and the US Navy's Programme Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships Unmanned Maritime Systems Programme Office revealed the system on 16 April, 2012.
The Knifefish UUV is a heavyweight-class, minehunting system designed for deployment by forward operating forces, and will be a part of the Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasures Mission Package. It allow Navy commanders and sailors to detect and identify mines in high-clutter underwater environments without putting sailors in harm's way, including mines that are suspended in the ocean, resting on the sea floor or buried. Additionally, it will gather environmental data that can provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.
The UUV represents a ‘major step forward for unmanned undersea technology and will provide sailors with a reliable, safe, cost-efficient capability that is not currently a part of the Navy's portfolio’, according to General Dynamics.
Knifefish recently completed a successful system requirements review on schedule and will progress through the preliminary design review in May of this year. The system is expected to attain initial operational capability in 2017.
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