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Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout Successfully Demonstrates Simultaneous Radar and Electro-Optical/Infrared Video Capability

2nd December 2008 - 04:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has demonstrated continuous combined payload coverage on its MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS). The Fire Scout successfully downlinked simultaneous digital video from both a Telephonics RDR-1700B multi-mode maritime radar and a FLIR Systems, Inc. Star SAFIRE(r) III electro-optical/infrared sensor using its tactical common data link developed by Cubic Defense Applications. The multi-sensor Star SAFIRE(r) III provides domestic and international customers a state-of-the-art capability for meeting real-time video requirements for electro-optical and infrared imagery.

The demonstration was part of an on-going internal research and development effort to reduce risk and solidify requirements for Fire Scout's multiple radar integration programs. The successful 40-minute flight, using a company-owned air vehicle and ground control station, took place Nov. 18 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. test center.

"Warfighters demand and deserve precise situational awareness to detect and identify threats and other targets of interest through the use of multiple payloads simultaneously working together," said Doug Fronius, tactical unmanned systems director for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "Fire Scout has demonstrated its ability to provide those capabilities to U.S. and international military and law enforcement agencies."

Fire Scout's adaptable open architecture was designed, tested and integrated in the laboratories of Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Development Center in San Diego. The flight was commanded from a Northrop Grumman designed ground control station using tactical control system software produced by Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems in Falls Church, Va.

Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout will provide unprecedented situational awareness and precision targeting support for future military and law enforcement agencies. Fire Scout can find tactical targets, track and designate targets, accurately provide targeting data to strike platforms and perform battle damage assessment. With vehicle endurance greater than eight hours, Fire Scout will be capable of continuous operations providing coverage 110 nautical miles from any launch site.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.


The Shephard News Team


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