General Dynamics to retrofit five Block 0 Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicles of US Navy


According to information released by General Dynamics on June 3, 2021, General Dynamics Mission Systems has announced that it was awarded a $72.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to retrofit five Block 0 Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems, which comprises 10 Knifefish SMCM vehicles.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Knifefish SMCM program advances to Block 1 with increased capabilities added to all five LRIP systems. (Picture source General Dynamics)


The retrofit requirements will enhance Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicle operations at deeper depths, identify more complex target environments and provide more precise localization. Once complete, all 10 Knifefish Block 0 UUVs will be upgraded with the new requirements integrated and re-delivered in the Block 1 configuration.

Knifefish SMCM is a medium-class mine countermeasure UUV intended for deployment from the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship and other Navy vessels of opportunity (VOO). Knifefish SMCM will reduce risk to personnel by operating within minefields as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries.

General Dynamics Mission Systems is the prime contractor for the Knifefish program. The company designed the tactical UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions. The Knifefish SMCM UUV is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin®-21 deep-water autonomous undersea vehicle. The team is currently delivering the initial Block 0 units on the predecessor Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract. The UUVs are designed and developed out of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Quincy, Massachusetts and McLeansville, North Carolina facilities, and manufactured out of the company’s Taunton, Massachusetts facility. For more information about Knifefish, visit HERE.

General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), provides mission-critical solutions to the challenges facing defense, intelligence and cybersecurity customers across all domains.


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