US Navy’s MQ-8C unmanned helicopter has been tested
- September 17, 2018
Northrop Grumman has began flight tests for MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft unmanned helicopter at Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point.
In June, the U.S. Navy completed initial operational test and evaluation aboard the USS Coronado (LCS 4) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, which has over 1,500 program flight hours. The aircraft is a modified Bell 407 helicopter that is produced in Moss Point and supports quality manufacturing jobs in Mississippi.
The newest autonomous aircraft has been designed to provide enhanced speed, endurance and payload capacity to the US Navy’s distributed maritime operations.
Northrop Grumman Fire Scout programme director Melissa Packwood said: “Building on Northrop Grumman’s recent announcement of new production capabilities in Moss Point and a 40% increase in employment at the site, the ability to now conduct MQ-8C Fire Scout flight tests where the production occurs will bring new efficiencies and effectiveness to our local operations and improve our ability to serve the US Navy.’
Fire Scout is an autonomous helicopter system that provides real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target-acquisition, as well as laser designation, and battle management capabilities to tactical users without depending on manned aircraft or space-based assets.
Capable of being deployed from both ground and naval platforms, the MQ-8C Fire Scout is a next-generation unmanned air system that has been designed to support land and sea-based military operations.