US Navy to arm Fire Scout UAV
Northrop Grumman has revealed details on the US Navy’s plan to outfit the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter with a weapons system.
According to a company statement issued on 9 November, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) laser-guided 70mm rocket will be fitted to the UAV enabling the navy to ‘locate and prosecute targets of interest’.
The APKWS laser-guided 70mm rocket has been in production for the navy since 2010. According to the company, Northrop Grumman will develop and deliver the equipment needed to control the weapons system under a $17 million contract awarded to the company 23 September by Naval Air Systems Command. Final delivery of an operational system is expected by March 2013.
The armed Fore Scout will enable ship commanders to identify and engage hostile targets without calling in other aircraft for support, in order to ‘shorten the kill chain’ and lessen the ‘need to put our soldiers in harm’s way’, George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman's vice president for tactical unmanned systems said.
Northrop Grumman says that once delivered, Fire Scout will be Navy's first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons. Its ability to operate at low ground speeds makes it particularly well suited for supporting littoral missions such as drug interdiction, antipiracy actions, search and rescue, reconnaissance and port security.
Fire Scout features a modular architecture that accommodates a variety of electro-optical, infrared and communications payloads. These payloads provide ground- and ship-based commanders with high levels of situational awareness and precision targeting support.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
US Army moves forward on future tactical UAS without AeroVironment
AeroVironment has been dropped from the hunt to provide the US Army with a Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS), leaving Griffon Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada and Textron Systems in the running.
Navantia, SAES and Perseo to jointly develop line of uncrewed underwater vehicles
At FEINDEF in Madrid, Navantia, SAES and Perseo announced an intention to develop a line of uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs).
British Army eyes new small armed UAS capability
The UK MoD has released a request for information on small armed UAS which could be used by the British Army.
General Atomics delivers first new build extended range MQ-9A to US Marine Corps
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has delivered the first new build MQ-9 Extended Range (ER) to the US Marine Corps (USMC).
Highway landing opens door to future MQ-9 Reaper capabilities
The US has landed an MQ-9 Reaper UAV on a highway for the first time as part of Exercise Agile Chariot.