General Dynamics’ Knifefish is a Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is designed to deploy off the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Knifefish UUV protects ships and sailors by identifying and avoiding underwater mines and operating as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside of the minefield.
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By Valerie Insinna, Defense Daily
The Navy will pursue an incremental strategy for the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) mine countermeasures mission package that will involve transitioning from the Remote Minehunting System to an unmanned surface boat pulling a sonar and at a later stage moving to an unmanned underwater vehicle with a sonar embedded inside it, the services acquisition executive announced Wednesday Instead, the Navy will make upgrades to two other systems in the ships MCM mission module the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) made by Textron for the midterm and General Dynamics Knifefish, which the Navy believes will be its final minehunting solution, said Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the navy research, development and acquisition.
Ultimately, the Navy believes Knifefish is its longterm minehunting solution, Stackley said. However, it needs to improve the endurance of the UUV. “If we succeed in getting the endurance that we need out of Knifefish, now you have further simplified the mine countermeasure mission package because now you don’t have a vehicle towing a sensor. Now you’ve got a sensor embedded in a vehicle, he said.
Mulloy noted that the department is investing more than $600 million over the next five years on UUV development, which could help spur improvements in vehicle endurance that can be dovetailed into Knifefish.
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