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US Navy orders five more MQ-8C Fire Scout UAVs

7th April 2014 - 14:38 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The US Navy has placed an order with Northrop Grumman for five additional MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The company was awarded a $44 million contract for the work as a modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract.

The MQ-8C is based on a larger helicopter airframe that provides greater range, endurance and payload capacity over the currently fielded MQ-8B Fire Scout variant. The aircraft will be deployed in intelligence-gathering operations, allowing ship commanders to extend their situational awareness far beyond the horizon.

The order brings the total number of Fire Scout aircraft under contract with the US Navy to 19.

George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman, said: ‘Land-based flight tests of the system are progressing well and we're working with the navy to conduct our first ship-based flights this summer. We expect the MQ-8C Fire Scout will be ready for operations by year end.’

Fire Scout uses on-board sensors to capture full-motion video, identify targets and distribute information in real time to various users. The MQ-8C can remain on station for more than eight hours and support long-duration missions, thus requiring less aircraft to sustain operations.

The new UAVs will be assembled at the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

The Shephard News Team


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