Fire Scout Training Centre established in Florida
Northrop Grumman has announced that it has established a new training facility for Fire Scout unmanned helicopter operators that offers improved flight simulators, hands-on aircraft maintenance and classroom instruction. The centre was opened 10 July 2012 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, to meet requirements for trained operators as the system is used more during deployments.
Northrop Grumman said that new flight simulators were placed in the facility to improve the quality of training, incorporating lessons learned during the MQ-8B Fire Scout's recent land- and sea-based deployments. Typical training lasts about six weeks because maintainers and pilots already gained technical training on manned helicopters such as the SH-60 Seahawk.
Fire Scout provides ship- and land-based commanders with critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, using on-board sensors to capture full-motion video, identify targets and then distribute the information in real time to various users.
All four Fire Scout at-sea deployments originated from nearby Naval Station Mayport. The most recent deployment started in June on board the USS Klakring (FFG 42).
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