Northrop Grum­man to pro­duce more Fire Scouts for US Navy

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

The US Navy has awarded Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion (NOC) a con­tract val­ued at more than $71 mil­lion to pro­duce six ad­di­tional next-gen­er­a­tion Fire Scout un­manned he­li­copters. The Fire Scout en­durance up­grade, des­ig­nated the MQ-8C and based on Bell Heli­copter’s 407, will pro­vide ship com­man­ders with in­creased range, en­durance and pay­load ca­pac­ity over the cur­rent MQ-8B vari­ant.

The Navy plans to pur­chase a to­tal of 30 air­craft un­der a rapid devel­op­ment ef­fort. Northrop Grum­man is cur­rently un­der con­tract to pro­duce 14 Fire Scouts that are sched­uled to be­gin de­ploy­ing in 2014.

“This con­tract pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant mo­men­tum for the work Northrop Grum­man and its sup­ply chain part­ners are do­ing to meet the Navy’s re­quire­ments,” said Ge­orge Var­doulakis, Vice Pres­i­dent for tac­ti­cal un­manned sys­tems with Northrop Grum­man’s Aero­space Sys­tems sec­tor. “Our en­tire team is fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing this game-chang­ing ca­pa­bil­ity on time, on cost and with un­ques­tion­able qual­ity. Along with our in­dus­try part­ners—Bell, Rolls-Royce, Cu­bic and oth­ers—we are mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant progress in re­duc­ing cost, en­abling us to achieve our af­ford­abil­ity tar­gets and pro­vide the Navy with the ab­so­lute best value.”

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