By Andy Choi
A quarter-scale prototype of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV), dubbed ‘Knifefish’ has been launched by executives from General Dynamics, the U. S. Navy's Program Executive Office, and Littoral Combat Ships Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office. Knifefish was unveiled at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition, which was hosted at the Gaylord National Resort.
Knifefish is a minehunting, heavyweight-class, unmanned undersea vehicle. It was designed for operating force application and will be included in Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasures Mission Package.
Through this minehunting SMCM UUV system, sailors and Navy commanders can spot mines that thrive in high-clutter underwater environments. This system ensures safety to the sailors, especially while detecting mines that remain suspended in the ocean or submerged in the sea floor. Furthermore, this minehunting system can collect environmental data, through which other mine warfare systems can acquire intelligence support.
The VP for Strategy and Business Development at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Nadia Short says that Knifefish is unmanned undersea technology’s new advancement that presents sailors with affordable and versatile capabilities. Based on the extensive open architecture potential, the team of representatives fabricated a design that makes Knifefish to be established with the Navy, in spite of changes in mission. Knifefish recently achieved a system requirements review, and anticipates success in another preliminary design review during May 2012. The initial operational capability of Knifefish will be effective in 2017.