Fire Scout has a role to play in Indo-Pacific
The USN has deployed the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout rotary-wing UAV to the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility for the first time.
An MQ-8C operated from the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Jackson in April to provide an enhanced ISR and targeting capability, Northrop Grumman noted in a 23 May statement.
Capt Dennis Monagle, tactical UAS programme manager at Naval Air Systems Command, described the MQ-8C as an ‘extremely flexible unmanned aerial system and a pillar in the navy and marine corps unmanned campaign plan’.
The USN aims to decommission nine Freedom-variant LCSs in FY2023, but Monagle said that Fire Scout ‘will still be active on remaining littoral combat ships’.
The rotary-wing UAS is also ‘being built into the Constellation-class frigate design… as well as other ship classes’, he added.
As well as ISR and targeting, other potential future roles for the MQ-8C include mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout also ‘advanced capabilities’ such as manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) demonstrations, Northrop Grumman added.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Royal Navy selects Animal Dynamics parafoil UAV for second phase of Heavy Lift challenge
With a payload capacity of 135kg, the Stork STM can fly up to 400km using a parafoil wing to generate lift.
IDEX 2023: Autel Robotics showcases DJI challenger drone
Autel Robotics presented its Dragonfish series and EVO Max 4T at IDEX 2023, hoping to challenge DJI's market dominance with the latter.
BAE and Innovaero debut Strix, Australia’s first domestic armed VTOL UAS
At the Avalon Airshow, BAE Systems Australia debuted Australia’s first domestically designed, built and armed VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) uncrewed air system (UAS), the Strix.
Enhanced autopilots pave way to autonomy for US multi-engine jets
The USAF has commissioned a year-long autonomy study by Reliable Robotics for large jet aircraft.
IDEX 2023: Black Eagle UAV gets miniature airborne radar
Integrating the radar into the Steadicopter UAS allows the rotorcraft to spot potential maritime threats.
IDEX 2023: KAI showcases developmental tiltrotor UAV
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is showcasing two developmental uncrewed platforms at IDEX 2023, the Night Intruder 500 Vectored Thurst (NI-500VT) and Air Launched Effect (ALE).