Northrop Grum­man read­ies MQ-8C Fire Scout for flight op­er­a­tions

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion (NOC) turned on the power to the US Navy’s first MQ-8C Fire Scout un­manned he­li­copter and ro­tated the air­craft’s four blades for the first time dur­ing ini­tial ground test­ing and en­gine runs at Naval Base Ven­tura County Point Mugu, Cal­i­for­nia, Septem­ber 20.

Con­duct­ing ini­tial en­gine runs of the air­craft al­lows engi­neers to col­lect data to en­sure that all the air­craft’s sys­tems are func­tion­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing prop­erly prior to its first flight.

“Com­ple­tion of th­ese tests sig­ni­fies our steady progress to­wards the first flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout,” said Ge­orge Var­doulakis, Vice Pres­i­dent of Medium Range Tac­ti­cal Sys­tems at Northrop Grum­man. “We con­tinue to work closely with our Navy cus­tomer, en­sur­ing that the Fire Scout sys­tem is checked out and ready be­fore op­er­a­tional use.”

This lat­est air­craft up­grade to the Fire Scout sys­tem pro­vides the Navy with more than twice the en­durance and three times the pay­load car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity, en­abling an un­prece­dented level of per­sis­tent sur­veil­lance, in­tel­li­gence and re­con­nais­sance ca­pa­bil­ity.

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