MQ-8C undertakes first flight aboard LCS
Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout has successfully completed its first flight aboard a US Navy Independence class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), the company announced on 12 April.
The flight took place off the coast of California during the second phase of dynamic interface testing as part of work to demonstrate Fire Scout's stability and safety while operating around the ship. The two week at-sea trial enabled the navy to test the MQ-8C's airworthiness and ability to land and take off from an LCS throughout a broad operational envelope.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout conducted its initial at-sea flight test aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Jason Dunham (DDG-108), in December 2014.
Following the completion of dynamic interface testing, the unmanned helicopter is one step closer to initial operational test and evaluation, and full operational deployment.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout builds on the ongoing accomplishments of the MQ-8B Fire Scout programme. Helicopter Squadron 23 is currently operating onboard the deployed USS Coronado, with two MQ-8B Fire Scouts in the South China Sea.
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