Tuesday, December 6, 2022

U.S. Navy orders production of Knifefish underwater drones

General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, will begin low-rate initial production of Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicles under a U.S. Navy contract.

The modification to the previously-awarded contract, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $44,6 million and covers low-rate initial production of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV), also known as Knifefish.

“The Knifefish program is an ongoing effort to provide a UUV that detects and classifies undersea volume, bottom and buried mines in high-clutter environments,” according to Department of Defense.


Knifefish medium-class mine countermeasure UUV designed to hunt for buried mines and mines in high clutter environments with high confidence and low false alarm rates.

The Knifefish system is part of the Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasures Mission Package and can also be deployed from vessels of opportunity.

The General Dynamics’s website said Knifefish’s job is to detect, avoid and identify mine threats, reducing the risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. Knifefish also gathers environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems.

The Knifefish UUV provides the mine warfare commander with enhanced mine-hunting capability by detecting, classifying and identifying both buried mines and mines in high clutter environments.

The low-rate initial production effort will provide the initial systems for the Navy to test and operate.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.