Knifefish UUV Completes Sea Acceptance Tests
General Dynamics Mission Systems announced its team has completed all stages of formal Sea Acceptance Testing (SAT) of Knifefish, the U.S. Navy's Surface Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) system.
Knifefish is a medium-class MCM UUV intended for deployment from the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship and other Navy vessels. The vehicle is designed to reduce risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries.
The recent tests were conducted off the coast of Boston using Navy mine test targets and included a variety of undersea, MCM operational scenarios in multiple simulated mine fields.
"The successful sea acceptance tests are the result of strong collaboration and teamwork between the General Dynamics and U.S. Navy Knifefish team," said Carlo Zaffanella, a vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Mission Systems. "These tests prove the Knifefish system can detect, classify and identify undersea mines in high-clutter environments."
The General Dynamics Knifefish team also completed initial Navy Fleet operator training as part of the transition into the next stage of testing, the Developmental Test and Operational Assessment. The training provided the operators with an opportunity to become familiarized with the Knifefish system and become proficient at operating and maintaining the system during the upcoming evaluations.
As prime contractor for the Knifefish program, General Dynamics Mission Systems designed the tactical UUV based on the Bluefin Robotics Bluefin-21 deep-water Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV) using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions.
Knifefish operates as an off-board sensor capable of autonomously detecting, classifying and identifying buried, bottom and volume mines in high-clutter environments in a single pass. The UUV's low frequency broadband synthetic aperture sonar enables long range, high confidence mine identification.