WATCH: Navy’s new unmanned helicopter completes first ship-based test flights

WTKR.com

The Navy’s new unmanned helicopter, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, successfully completed its first ship-based flights earlier this month off the coast of Virginia.

The helicopter was sent out on a five-day test period aboard the USS Jason Dunjam (DDG 109,) returning December 19th.

The Fire Scout completed three flights and 32 takeoffs and recoveries during the testing.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is an upgrade to the existing “B” variant, which first deployed in 2009.  With its larger airframe, the “C” can fly nearly twice as long and carry three times more payload than its predecessor.

Teamed with the manned MH-60 helicopter, the MQ-8 Fire Scout extends the range and endurance of ship-based operations.  It provides unique situational awareness and precision target support for the Navy.

In addition to 30 MQ-8Bs that have been delivered by Northrop Grumman, the Navy plans to procure a total of 40 MQ-8Cs to…

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