NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., April 18 (UPI) -- A model of a new mine-hunting unmanned undersea vehicle for use by forward-deployed forces has been unveiled by the U.S. Navy and General Dynamics.
The Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle is called "Knifefish" and will enable forces to detect and identify mines -- suspended, on the ocean floor or buried -- in high-clutter underwater environments.
"Knifefish represents a major step forward for unmanned undersea technology and will provide sailors with a reliable, safe, cost-efficient capability that is not currently a part of the Navy's portfolio," said Nadia Short, vice president for Strategy and Business Development at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.
"Our team took advantage of extensive open architecture expertise to develop a design that ensures Knifefish will continue to evolve with the Navy, as mission needs change and advance."
General Dynamics said the device has completed a system requirements review and will undergo its preliminary design review next month.
Knifefish is expected to attain initial operational capability in 2017, General Dynamics said.
The quarter-scale Knifefish model was displayed at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Maryland.