Fire Scout sur­passes flight hour record aboard USS Sa­muel B. Roberts


He­li­copter Strike Mar­itime Squadron (HSM) 46, Det. 9 re­cently sur­passed the MQ-8B Fire Scout’s pre­vi­ous monthly flight hour record while per­form­ing op­er­a­tions at sea aboard USS Sa­muel B. Roberts (FFG 58). In June, four Fire Scouts that em­barked on the fri­gate flew 333 flight hours, ex­ceed­ing the un­manned he­li­copter’s pre­vi­ously monthly op­er­a­tional flight time record by more than 110 hours.

While at sea, the Fire Scouts reg­u­larly fly 18 hours per day while pro­vid­ing a 12-hour real-time in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR) or­bit to com­bat­ant com­man­ders.

“The teams from USS Sa­muel B. Roberts and HSM-46 have built on the great suc­cess of ear­lier de­ployed op­er­a­tors,” said Cap­tain Pa­trick Smith, Fire Scout Pro­gramme Man­ager. “Their per­se­ver­ance and mis­sion ef­fec­tive­ness have demon­strated the real dif­fer­ence that mar­itime-based ISR can make to com­bat­ant com­man­ders.”

This is the Fire Scout’s sixth un­der way de­ploy­ment aboard a US Navy fri­gate. Just like ear­lier de­ploy­ments, the ship re­ceives com­mu­ni­ca­tion up­grades that al­low the air­craft’s full mo­tion video (FMV) cam­era feed to be dis­trib­uted to the ship’s Com­bat In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (CIC) and to com­man­ders at mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions through­out the world.

“None of th­ese achieve­ments would be pos­si­ble with­out the hard work and ef­forts by the en­tire team aboard USS Sa­muel B Roberts,” said Lt Cmdr Mike Ger­hart, HSM-46, Det. 9 of­fi­cer in charge. “We are just two months into our six-month de­ploy­ment, but the op­er­a­tors and main­tain­ers have put in sig­nif­i­cant hours sup­port­ing the needs of the war­fare com­man­ders. They can be justly proud of set­ting a new stan­dard for em­barked op­er­a­tions of the Fire Scout.”

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