Northrop to build more MQ-8Cs
Northrop Grumman will build ten more MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters for the US Navy, the company announced on 29 September. This will take the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft procured by the US Navy to 29.
According to Capt Jeff Dodge, program manager, Fire Scout, Naval Air Systems Command, the MQ-8C programme is meeting all its performance objectives and is moving toward operational testing and deployment as a part of surface warfare mission packages.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout airframe is based on the Bell 407 single-engine utility helicopter. The system is designed to extend the range and endurance of naval operations, giving commanders persistent, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
Leslie Smith, vice president, tactical autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said: 'In partnership with the US Navy, we are dedicated to fielding this state-of-the-art, ship-based ISR platform as part of a strategy that provides warfighters ISR. We are pleased to support the navy with additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts with maritime dominance support through this procurement. Our team will strive to exceed expectations in affordability, quality and on-time delivery.'
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