WASHINGTON - General Dynamics will continue providing engineering support for the U.S. Navy’s Knifefish, an unmanned undersea mine hunter, as the service looks to increase testing and evaluation before entering full-rate production..
The Navy issued a $13.6 million contract modification to General Dynamics for continued engineering support for Knifefish on July 20, just as the original $9.2 million contract issued last July was set to expire. Work is now expected to be completed in September 2021. The contract extension will support test and evaluation, engineering change proposal development and upgrade initiatives.
The Navy's unmanned underwater mine hunter Knifefish has passed a mine-hunting test.
The Knifefish is a medium-class unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) designed to be deployed from a littoral combat ship to detect bottom, volume and buried mines underwater. The two unmanned vehicles that comprise the Knifefish system use low-frequency broadband sonar and automated target recognition software to find mines and help their host ship steer clear. The program achieved its Milestone C authorization in August 2019, and the Navy issued the company a $44.6 million contract to prime contractor General Dynamics to begin low initial rate production of five Knifefish systems.
The Navy has previously stated that it plans to purchase 30 Knifefish systems in total.