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US Navy Buys Two Northrop Grumman Fire Scouts To Refine Concept Of Operations

The MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (VTUAV)
by Staff Writers
San Diego CA (SPX) Feb 07, 2007
The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman $16 million for two more MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAV) and to assist the Navy in refining the Fire Scout concept of operations. Including this award, the Navy has a total of nine Fire Scouts on contract with Northrop Grumman.

"With the addition of these two air vehicles, we will be able to complete operational test and evaluation as well as some spiral development preparations and test of future payloads," said Cmdr. Rob Murphy, the Navy's VTUAV Fire Scout program manager.

During concept of operations development, Northrop Grumman will work closely with the Navy to refine the system description, including core capabilities, and anticipated deployment and employment for the VTUAV system and other aviation assets aboard the Littoral Combat Ship.

Operational requirements may include real-time video imagery collection, intelligence gathering, communications-relay capability, precision targeting and battle damage assessment.

System design work on the Fire Scout is performed at the Unmanned Systems Development Center in San Diego. The Fire Scout is assembled at the Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss. Fire Scout is based on a commercial-off-the-shelf Schweizer 333 manned helicopter manufactured in Horseheads, N.Y. The baseline design has proven a highly reliable and effective platform with extensive operating history.

The MQ-8B successfully completed the first series of autonomous flight testing the third week of December at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The next two years of planned activity on this program include entering low-rate initial production, operational evaluation on a Littoral Combat Ship and operational capability in 2008.

Related Links
Northrop Grumman
UAV Technology at SpaceWar.com

USAF Sponsors Fully Automatic Take-Off And Landing Demonstrations Of Proxy Aviation's SkyWatcher UAV
Germantown MD (SPX) Feb 07, 2007
Proxy Aviation Systems announced that it has successfully completed testing of its automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capabilities of SkyWatcher, an optionally piloted, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The United States Air Force (USAF) sponsored and cooperated in the demonstration, which took place at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Arizona on December 13, 2006.







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