“Based on recent tests, the US Navy’s (USN’s) Surface Mine Countermeasure (SMCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV), or Knifefish, needs more development work, the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in its annual report, released on 30 January.

The USN recently conducted an operational assessment to evaluate the system’s capability to detect, classify, and identify naval mines that are moored in the ocean volume and that lay on, or are buried in, the ocean bottom, the DOT&E noted.

“Test results show that Knifefish requires further development to provide an operationally effective and suitable capability for its intended use,” DOT&E reported, pointing out the navy plans to incrementally upgrade and test Knifefish capability to meet operational needs prior to Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) and fleet introduction to the system.”