Rolls-Royce Develops New Engine For Unmanned Surveillance Helicopter

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:16 AM, May 1, 2013
  • 2258

Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new military helicopter engine that it says will help improve national security.

Known as the MQ8C Fire Scout Helicopter, the unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance helicopter was manufactured by Northrop Grumman to be used by the U.S. Navy.

Rolls-Royce Senior Vice-President Tom Hartmann said the Hoosier-built engine will improve the aircraft's long range endurance and capability.

Bigger, tougher and more efficient than previous versions, the Fire Scout helicopter provides eyes and ears from above. A smaller version was used to look for improvised explosive devices (IED) in Afghanistan.

"We look at it as securing the jobs we have. In the factory, we have loads that go up and down all the time. Keeping this kind of contract is important in keeping the folks we have on the site fully employed," Hartmann said.

The helicopter will be operated by a sailor using a computer on the ground or on a ship.