By Staff Writer | December 17, 2014
The U.S. Coast Guard, in conjunction with Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy, flew the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter off the national security cutter (NSC), USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), Dec. 5 off the coast of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in Point Mugu, Calif.
The MQ-8B Fire Scout was operated from a control station located on the Bertholf by Navy pilots and Coast Guard personnel.
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Coast Guard aircrew unhooks an MQ-8B Fire Scout during a test on the Coast Guard Cutter, USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750) near Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 5, 2014. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Clayton
“Unmanned Aerial Systems have the potential to significantly increase the surveillance range and capability of our Coast Guard cutters, and this demonstration will help to inform the service on the best way to proceed forward with the acquisition of the right unmanned capability in the future,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Broadhurst, UAS platform manager.
The MQ-8B is currently operational within the Navy and deployed on frigates and littoral combat ships. The MQ-8B system has completed more than 14,000 flight hours and 5,300 sorties.