Knifefish Unmanned Undersea Vehicle
Keeping Sailors Out Of The Minefield
Knifefish is a medium-class Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) designed for deployment off the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Knifefish UUV provides the mine warfare commander with enhanced mine-hunting capability by detecting, classifying and identifying both buried mines and mines in high clutter environments.
The LCS Mine Countermeasure Mission Package
A critical element of the LCS Mine Countermeasure (MCM) mission package, which is comprised of many different mine warfare platforms, including Knifefish, is its common open systems architecture design. Such modularity of the mission package allows for platform flexibility and quick reconfiguration of the whole mission package in response to evolving and dynamic mission requirements the fleet will encounter day-to-day.
Knifefish’s job is to detect, avoid and identify mine threats, reducing the risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. Knifefish also gathers environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.
Benefits of Knifefish
- Detects, classifies and identifies volume, proud and buried mines in high-clutter underwater environments
- Allows “plug and play” integration with ship systems and mission modules
- Integrates into multiple ship types
- Provides intelligence support for other mine warfare systems
- Enables rapid mission turnaround time
During the U.S. Navy's recent biennial Ice Exercise (ICEX 2020), General Dynamics partnered with MIT to put the Bluefin-21 Macrura UUV to the test under the ice in the Arctic Circle. In the following excerpt from an article in the Naval Engineers Journal, CAPT Edward Lundquist, USN (Ret.) describes…
We talked with General Dynamics senior program manager Mike Enright about his experience with the Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure (SMCM) project and the future of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs).
General Dynamics Mission Systems Delivers First Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle System
General Dynamics recently delivered the first Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) system under a contract awarded by the Navy on Aug. 26, 2019. The contract calls for the procurement of five Knifefish systems (10 total UUVs) and support equipment.