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 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.
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