Telephonics to provide MQ-8B Fire Scout radar
The MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed for the US Navy will be fitted with a multimode maritime radar system provided by Telephonics. Telephonics was selected by prime contractor Northrop Grumman for the $33 million contract, which was announced on 8 January.
The contract covers the development, production, integration and testing of nine radar systems. The new Telephonics RDR-1700B+ radar will give the MQ-8B Fire Scout critical wide-area search and long-range imaging capability to complement the focused capabilities of its current electro-optical infrared payload.
The Fire Scout UAV is being developed to provide situational awareness and precision targeting support for US armed forces, with the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to the soldier in contact.
George Vardoulakis, vice president of tactical unmanned systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector, said: ‘This radar selection is a significant milestone for the Fire Scout programme and represents a significant expansion in capability for our navy customer. Integrating this Telephonics radar with Fire Scout's other sensors and systems will give the navy unprecedented situational awareness in a tactical environment, and will significantly change how threats are addressed.’
Joseph Battaglia, Telephonics' chief executive officer, added: ‘We are pleased to be partnered with Northrop Grumman in adding this essential operational capability to Fire Scout. We're looking forward to working with both Northrop Grumman and the navy to integrate this new advanced radar system on the MQ-8B as soon as possible.’
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