The US Navy’s Knifefish mine countermeasure (MCM) unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) has successfully concluded contractor trials off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts.
The trials were carried out by General Dynamics Mission Systems in order to demonstrate Knifefish’s ability to detect, classify and identify potential mines at a variety of depths.
Knifefish was operated in multiple testing fields at-sea using buried, bottom and volume type mine-test targets as part of the trial programme.
US Navy PMS 406 programme manager captain Jonathan Rucker said: “The navy is pleased with the Knifefish performance during the recent contractor trials, as the system demonstrated its ability to reliably find mines in different environments.
“Knifefish provides the navy a critical means to find and identify bottom, buried and volume mines, providing a much-needed capability for the warfighter.”
Knifefish is a medium-class mine countermeasure UUV that can be deployed from the US Navy’s littoral combat ship and other navy vessels.
The UUV is expected to reduce the risk to navy personnel when operating in minefields by allowing the host ship to stay outside the minefield’s boundaries.
Knifefish is now expected to undergo sea acceptance trials, which will begin next year.
General Dynamics Mission Systems Maritime and Strategic Systems vice-president and general manager Carlo Zaffanella said: “This round of contractor testing demonstrated the continued improvement in the performance of the Knifefish UUV.
“Working closely with the navy, we look forward to sea acceptance trials in 2018 and continued refinement of the Knifefish system.”