By Staff Writer | December 5, 2014
Northrop Grumman has delivered the first operational MQ-8C Fire Scout to the U.S. Navy for use by ship-based commanders in intelligence-gathering operations.
Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman
The MQ-8C is an upgraded version of the existing MQ-8B Fire Scout. It has a larger airframe, and provides nearly twice the flight endurance and three times the payload capacity of its predecessor. The Navy will conduct shipboard flight tests aboard the USS Jason Dunham this winter, and then assess the system for operational use.
Northrop Grumman is under contract to build 19 MQ-8C Fire Scouts, including two test aircraft. The Navy plans to purchase a total of 70 aircraft.