General Dynamics‘ (NYSE: GD) mission systems business has secured a $72.8 million contract with the U.S. Navy to retrofit 10 unmanned underwater vehicles designed to provide countermeasures against mine threats.
The company said Thursday it will modify five systems of the Block 0 Knifefish surface mine countermeasure UUV, which would then be modernized to Block 1 configuration.
The updates are intended to help the mine countermeasure technology perform in deeper depths, identify complex target environments and deliver localization with increased precision.
Knifefish, a medium-class UUV, deploys from littoral combat ships to detect and address minefield threats while keeping human personnel away from the corresponding danger.
The contractor built Knifefish on Bluefin Robotics’ existing Bluefin-21 autonomous undersea vehicle. General Dynamics Mission Systems acquired Bluefin in 2016.
GDMS manufactured Knifefish Block 0 in Massachusetts under an existing contract for the UUV’s low-rate initial production. Design and development activities take place in North Carolina and Massachusetts.