General Dynamics AIS Evaluates Underwater Drone Configurations; Thomas Kirchmaier Comments

Thomas Kirchmaier

Thomas Kirchmaier

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems has evaluated the software and hardware components of an unmanned undersea vehicle the business unit is developing for the U.S. Navy.

GDAIS conducted the subsystem configuration tests as part of a risk reduction program for the Knifefish mine-hunting underwater drone, General Dynamics said Tuesday.

Thomas Kirchmaier, president of GDAIS, said the UUV is intended to reduce hazards to Navy warfare sailors and vessels and be part of the Navy’s surface-ship mine countermeasure mission packages.

Knifefish is designed for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship surface-ship mine countermeasure mission program, which is scheduled to become operational by 2017.

“Overcoming unique size, weight and power challenges are keystones to the successful deployment of the Navy’s Knifefish program,” said Tom Mason, a Knifefish senior program manager at GDAIS.

The Knifefish system is intended to include two UUVs, launch and recovery equipment, a support container, spare parts and support equipment.

Contractors such as ASRC Research Technology Solutions, Bluefin Robotics, Oceaneering International and Metron are partners for the Knifefish program.

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