Grumman Readies MQ-8C Fire Scout VTOL UAV for Flight Operations
Grumman Corporation turned on the power to the U.S. 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, Calif., Sept. 20.
Northrop Grumman test engineers conduct the first engine runs of the
MQ-8C Fire Scout at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, Calif., on
Sept. 20 to prepare the system for flight operations. A Northrop Grumman
and U.S. Navy test team is collecting data to ensure that all the aircraft's
systems are functioning and communicating properly prior to its first
flight. (Photo by Chad Slattery)
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 toward
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."
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.
(Picture: Northrop Grumman)
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.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the Fire Scout program
and is currently under contract to produce MQ-8C aircraft for deployment
beginning in 2014.