Knifefish systems to be upgraded following contract award planned for later this month

By Jordan Wolman / May 3, 2021 at 3:56 PM

All 10 Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicles will be retrofitted with new changes requested by the Navy through a contract award planned for this month, Alan Baribeau, a public affairs officer for Naval Sea Systems Command, told Inside Defense.

The new requirements include operation at deeper depths, more complex target environments and more precise localization, Baribeau said.

The delivery schedule will be finalized upon completion of contract negotiations and award of the contract.

Knifefish is a surface mine countermeasure UUV produced by General Dynamics. The first Knifefish system was delivered to the Navy in March. Consisting of two UUVs per system, they deploy from Littoral Combat Ships and other vessels and are meant to "reduce risk" to personnel by "operating within minefields as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries," according to a General Dynamics press release.

LCS combatant commanders will determine "where the first Knifefish-equipped LCS will operate," Baribeau said.

The Knifefish system is capable of conducting volume and bottom minehunting, and it introduces a specific capability against hunting bottom mines in high environmental clutter and buried mines, he told Inside Defense.