General Dynamics and U.S. Navy introduce model of unmanned, minehunting, undersea vehicle

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. 17 April 2012. Representatives from the U. S. Navy's Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office and General Dynamics unveiled a quarter-scale model of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV), named "Knifefish," at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition being held at the Gaylord National Resort. Knifefish is a heavyweight-class, minehunting, unmanned undersea vehicle designed for deployment by forward operating forces, and will be a part of the Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasures Mission Package. 

The SMCM UUV system will allow Navy commanders and sailors to detect and identify mines in high-clutter underwater environments, 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.

Knifefish recently completed a system requirements review on schedule and will progress through the preliminary design review in May of this year. Knifefish is expected to obtain initial operational capability in 2017.

The development and manufacturing work on this program is performed in Greensboro, N.C., Fairfax, Va., Quincy, Mass., Braintree, Mass., and Panama City, Fla.


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