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Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout UAV Demonstrates Its Capabilities

File photo of the Fire Scout.

San Diego CA (SPX) Aug 17, 2005
Northrop Grumman's MQ-8 Fire Scout UAV completed data and image relay, video transmissions and supplied delivery to a remote location during a series of tests and demonstrations Aug. 1-3 at Arizona's Yuma Proving Ground.

The tests culminated with a fully autonomous flight demonstration for senior military and government leaders.

The Fire Scout flew numerous missions using the U.S. Army's One System ground control station, proving that the UAV can be fielded using existing Army ground control stations.

Operating from the Army's One System also illustrated the ability to easily integrate Fire Scout into the Army's current arsenal of vehicles that gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information.

"One of the most significant parts of the test series was when the test team intentionally broke communication between the ground station and the UAV, and Fire Scout proceeded to deliver supplies to a remote location," said Joe Emerson, Northrop Grumman's Army Fire Scout program director.

"This crucial mission was completed when Fire Scout delivered supplies to a 'soldier,' who unloaded the supply pod, then pressed a button on the outside of the vehicle, triggering its return to the launch point."

With a payload of 600 pounds, Fire Scout can deliver a wide variety of supplies autonomously without endangering pilots or an aircrew on a manned helicopter.

Fire Scout also provided real-time, streaming video of the launch site and 'targets' using the Tactical Common Data Link. Army and U.S. Navy leadership viewed the live video feed on three different monitors and commented on Fire Scout's ability to provide such a stable platform and steady imagery.

This is a key function of Fire Scout's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission for the armed forces.

This continues a series of tests for Northrop Grumman's Army and Navy customers over the recent months.

"This has been a busy summer for the Fire Scout team, starting with a successful demonstration at the Navy-sponsored UAV demonstration day in Maryland, followed by weapons firing and now successfully completing a series of tests and demonstrations," said Doug Fronius, Northrop Grumman's Navy Fire Scout program director.

"The demonstrations here in Yuma were a great opportunity to show our customers Fire Scout's capabilities and versatility."

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