Northrop Grumman has won a US Navy contract to build 10 additional Fire Scout MQ-8C helicopter drones.
"We are pleased to support the Navy with additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts with maritime-dominance support," Northrop Grumman’s vice president of tactical autonomous systems, Leslie Smith, stated in the release Thursday.
The MQ-8 Fire Scout is used as part of the Navy's maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission at sea. The additional production will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scouts procured by the Navy to 29.
The MQ-8 Fire Scout system is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces. 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.
MQ-8C Fire Scout has completed operational assessment, a developmental flight test program and is now preparing for Milestone C. MQ-8C Fire Scout has accrued over 730 flight hours and flown 353 sorties.