Author Topic: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout  (Read 5859 times)

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« on: October 01, 2016, 12:30:47 PM »
northropgrumman.com
Quote
There are two Fire Scout variants. The smaller MQ-8B has deployed on multiple frigates and is currently deployed on a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). MQ-8B has also deployed to Afghanistan to support counter- improvised explosive device (IED) operations. This system has completed more than 15,650 flight hours and over 5,800 sorties. The Navy has integrated a multi-mode maritime radar on MQ-8B and tested an onboard weapons capability, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS). The MQ-8B Fire Scout has also demonstrated the ability to operate concurrently with other manned aircraft while operating at-sea.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is the Navy’s next generation unmanned helicopter. The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,400 airframes produced and over 4 million flight hours. Combined with the maturity of Northrop Grumman's unmanned systems architecture, Fire Scout meets customer requirements for a ship-based and land-based unmanned systems. It also has the ability to autonomously take-off and land on any aviation-capable ship and from prepared and unprepared landing zones. This enhancement significantly increases range and endurance (more than double) and payload capacity (more than triple). The MQ-8C has completed developmental testing and is ready to deploy.

MQ-8B Fire Scout

Photo: aircraft-info.net

===

MQ-8C Fire Scout

Photo: defenseindustrydaily.com

« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 12:37:09 PM by Ayoshi »

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2016, 12:33:42 PM »
Northrop Grumman to build 10 additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts for U.S. Navy | verticalmag - September 30, 2016
Quote
The additional build will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout air vehicles procured to 29, extending the range and endurance of naval operations.

The additional build will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout air vehicles procured to 29, extending the range and endurance of naval operations. Northrop Grumman Corporation Photo
« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 12:37:46 PM by Ayoshi »

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 02:22:27 AM »
Bell to assess potential MQ-8C fatigue as NAVAIR expands airframe performance envelope | IHS Jane's 360 - 07 October 2016
Quote
The US Navy (USN) has awarded Bell Helicopter a USD3.3 million contract to investigate the potential for future flight strain, fatigue, and tail boom cracking on the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

The contract, which was awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 29 September and posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website on 5 October, will see Bell Helicopter use a company-owned 407 helicopter to investigate strain, fatigue, and cracking issues that might arise with the command flying the MQ-8C at higher weights and altitudes than those for which the civilian authorities have certified the original airframe.

According to NAVAIR, the 407 helicopter on which the MQ-8C is based is "the only known system configuration that meets the minimum requirements of the MQ-8C Fire Scout production". It added that the sourcing, development, and fielding of an alternative platform would cost USD202 million and would take 28 months to achieve

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 02:25:33 PM »
Northrop Grumman Helps U.S. Navy Fire Scout Squadron Make History | Navy Recognition - 16 August 2017
Quote
Northrop Grumman Fire Scout instructors helped an elite detachment of Fire Scout Air Vehicle Operators (AVO) from the U.S. Navyís Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 train and rehearse for a historic two-part demonstration. The AVOs trained for a real-time mission-set that handed off two autonomous, radar-equipped MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopters between multiple ground stations, a program first. The exercise also provided critical, real-time targeting information to a manned MH-60S Seahawk helicopter during a weeklong exercise off the coast of southern California.

< snipped >

In May 2017, the Fire Scout simulators helped the Navy plan out an entire mission ahead of the actual flights. The Fire Scout simulators at Northrop Grumman are generally used for proficiency training for pilots and payload operators, but the simulators also have the ability to rehearse and validate mission plans, increasing squadron readiness levels.

The demonstration called for the first-ever long-range transit of the Fire Scout. The autonomous helicopter was launched by AVOs using a mobile mission control station (MMCS) in Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island. The San-Clemente-based operators then successfully exchanged controls of the Fire Scout in-flight to AVOs operating from a ground control station at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California. This hand-off exchange was then repeated during the return trip to San Clemente Island.


MH-60S Helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout VTOL UAV. Picture: Northrop Grumman

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 06:06:35 PM »
Navy Recognition


Philippine Sea (Aug. 22, 2017) A Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam. Coronado is on a rotational deployment in U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, patrolling the region's littorals and working hull-to-hull with partner navies to provide U.S. 7th Fleet with the flexible capabilities it needs now and in the future. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released) (Photo by MC2 Kaleb R. Staples)

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 05:41:11 PM »
https://www.janes.com/article/89754/us-navy-declares-ioc-for-mq-8c-fire-scout

Quote
US Navy declares IOC for MQ-8C Fire Scout
08 July 2019

The milestone, which was reached on 28 June, comes about six years after flight trials were commenced in mid-2013 and clears the way for fleet operations and training for the unmanned sensor platform.

With IOC now declared, the MQ-8C will soon join its smaller MQ-8B Fire Scout-stablemate aboard the USN's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)-class vessels. The first such MQ-8C deployment is set for fiscal year 2021.

Developed to provide an enhanced capability compared with the smaller MQ-8B that is based on the Schweizer Aircraft 330 helicopter, the Bell 407-based MQ-8C features improved sensors, has a range of about 150 n miles, endurance of 12 hours, and a payload capacity of more than 317 kg.

The USN's total planned Fire Scout inventory is 30 Schweizer Aircraft 330-based MQ-8Bs and 38 MQ-8Cs. These 68 air vehicles will include 59 that are production funded, and nine that are research, development, test, and evaluation funded.

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2020, 06:10:32 PM »
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/05/first-deployed-mq-8cs-will-be-equipped-with-leonardo-an-zpy-8-radar/

Quote
First Deployed MQ-8Cs Will Be Equipped With Leonardo AN/ZPY-8 Radar
08 May 2020

Operating out of Webster Outlying Field, the MQ-8Cís first flight with the radar occurred Feb. 27. Testing began with several weeks of ground test prior to the first flight and continues to progress as the Navy and Northrop Grumman consider mission expansion opportunities for the platform.

To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered 32 of 38 MQ-8Cs to the Navy, all of which will be retrofit with the AN/ZPY-8 radar. The MQ-8C achieved initial operational capability in June 2019 and is scheduled for its first deployment in 2021.


MQ-8C Fire Scout VTOL UAV first flight with the AN/ZPY-8 radar occurred Feb. 27. Photo credit: U.S. Navy