Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have flown the second MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for the first time with success.
Current tests allow operators to validate the flight capabilities of the MQ-8C before ship-based flights take place this summer.
"The addition of the second MQ-8C means we can begin testing on more components and equipment needed to operate the system as an intelligence-gathering platform," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium range tactical systems at Northrop Grumman.
"This includes installing and conducting tests on the full sensor suite."
Fire Scout uses on-board sensors to capture full-motion video, identify targets and then distribute the information in real time to various users. This allows ship-based commanders to maintain awareness of a specified area or keep an eye on a target of interest for long periods of time.