General Dynamics' mission systems business has handed over the U.S. Navy's first Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle for surface mine countermeasure operations as part of a $44.6 million contract modification awarded in 2019.
The Knifefish medium-class mine countermeasure platform is based on the Bluefin-21 undersea vehicle and can launch from a littoral combat ship to function as an off-board sensor across minefields, the company said Thursday.
General Dynamics implemented an open architecture design into Knifefish to potentially allow modifications for various mission types.
The Navy tapped the company to begin low-rate initial production efforts for the UUV and its support equipment following the issuance of a Milestone C approval in 2019 from the military service's program executive officer for unmanned and small combatants.
According to General Dynamics, the modification covers the delivery of five Knifefish systems to the Navy.