QUINCY, Mass., 16 July 2012. Bluefin Robotics, a unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) specialist in Quincy, Mass., is moving on the next phase of development of the Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) for the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship.
Bluefin is the submersible vehicle subcontractor to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Fairfax, Va., for the surface mine countermeasures UUV system. Bluefin has completed the preliminary design review for Knifefish, and is moving on to the next phase of development for the surface mine countermeasures UUV.
Bluefin won a subcontract from General Dynamics in November 2011 to develop the Knifefish surface mine countermeasures UUV, which is a specialized Bluefin-21 UUV. Bluefin unveiled a scale model of Knifefish last April.
Knifefish will be a critical part of the Littoral Combat Ship mine warfare mission package and will provide the fleet mine warfare commander and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capability by detecting and identifying floating and sea-floor mines in high-clutter environments, Bluefin officials say.
The surface mine countermeasures UUV system will include two Knifefish UUVs as well as launch and recovery equipment, a support container, spare parts, and support equipment. In UUV will carry an advanced sonar payload built by General Dynamics.
The UUV will feature Bluefin's field-swappable batteries, an integrated navigation system, and low-noise propulsion technology. Bluefin's control software will provide mission planning and monitoring.
The subcontract has an option for Bluefin to build as many as 10 Knifefish UUVs for further test and evaluation. The company will do the work at its Quincy, Mass., facility.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City Beach, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61331-11-C-0017) for the prime contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.