Military Embedded Systems

Knifefish UUV risk reduction completed by General Dynamics


August 07, 2013

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

FAIRFAX, VA. – Officials at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems finished work oan the risk reduction program for the U.S. Navy’s Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV). The program's goal to uncover any potential systems defect in the program’s development phase.

Knifefish will eventually be a part of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship mine warfare mission package -- scheduled for 2017 deployment -- delivering the fleet mine warfare commanders and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capabilities. Knifefish will reduce risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries.The system will include two UUVs, as well as launch and recovery equipment, spare parts,a support container, and support equipment.

The configuration item test (CIT) verified important components within the UUV system such as the hardware architecture and critical areas of hardware and software integration.
Subsystem tests were performed on payload component -- high-fidelity SONAR and ultra-high-density data storage/recording --, key propulsion components -- quieter, more powerful propulsion --, and software interface elements.

The biggest challenges for the Knifefish program is overcoming the Navy's size, weight and power challenges, says Tom Mason, senior program manager at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

The U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) chose General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to design and build Knifefish in 2011. The General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Knifefish team includes Bluefin Robotics in Quincy, MA, Ultra Electronic Ocean Systems in Braintree, MA, Oceaneering International, Inc. in Houston, Metron in Reston, VA, Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University in State College, PA, 3 Phoenix in Hanover, MD, General Dynamics Information Technology in Fairfax, VA, and ASRC Research Technology Solutions in Greenbelt, MD.


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