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Second MQ-8C Fire Scout takes flight

14th February 2014 - 08:48 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The second MQ-8C Fire Scout built by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy has flown for the first time at Naval Base Ventura County. The Northrop Grumman and US Navy team is preparing for ship-based flights which will begin later in 2014.

Current tests are focused on validating the flight capabilities of the MQ-8C. The first flight of the MQ-8C occurred in October 2013, and testing conducted to validate autonomous control systems. Since then the system has conducted 41 flights totalling 66 hours.

George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium range tactical systems at Northrop Grumman, said: ‘The addition of the second MQ-8C means we can begin testing on more components and equipment needed to operate the system as an intelligence-gathering platform. This includes installing and conducting tests on the full sensor suite.’

Fire Scout is being developed to provide ship-based commanders the ability to maintain awareness of a specified area or keep an eye on a target of interest for long periods of time via the use of on-board sensors. The sensors can capture full-motion video, identify targets and then distribute the information in real time.

The Shephard News Team


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