USN awards Knifefish retrofit to General Dynamics
General Dynamics Mission Systems has been awarded a $72.8million contract from the US Navy to retrofit five Block 0 Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems.
The retrofit process is necessary to maintain the Knifefish’s operational capabilities. It will enable the vehicle to operate at deeper depths, identify more complex target environments and provide more precise localisation.
Once complete, all ten Knifefish Block 0 UUVs will be upgraded with the new requirements, integrated and re-delivered in the Block 1 configuration.
Knifefish SMCM will reduce risk to personnel by operating within minefields 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 programme. The company designed the UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, the Knifefish UUVs were developed for the Surface Mine Countermeasure UUV programme to equip the USN’s Littoral Combat Ships.
Each system includes two UUVs, launch and recovery equipment, a support container, spare parts and support equipment.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
With Sparrow, BMT aims to solve the challenge of getting supplies from UAS to forces on the ground.
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.