Navy MQ-8C unmanned helicopter hits initial operational capability; ready for operations and training

July 9, 2019
The MQ-8 Fire Scout is a sea-based unmanned helicopter for reconnaissance, situational awareness, and targeting for ground, air and sea forces.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – The U.W. Navy declared initial operational capability (IOC) of the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter on 28 June 2019, clearing the way for fleet operations and training. Naval Air Systems Command reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

9 July 2019 -- The MQ-8C variant is an endurance and payload upgrade to its predecessor, the MQ-8B, offering as long as 12 hours on station depending on payload, and incorporates the commercial Bell 407 airframe.

The Northrop Grumman-built Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has flown more than 1,500 hours with more than 700 sorties to date. Over the next few years, Northrop Grumman will continue MQ-8C production deliveries to the Navy to complete a total of 38 aircraft.

The MQ-8C will be equipped with an upgraded radar that allows for a larger field of view and a range of digital modes including weather detection, air-to-air targeting, and a ground moving target indicator (GMTI).

Related: Northrop Grumman continues installing Leonardo surface-search radar on Navy MQ-8C unmanned helicopter

Related: Navy picks L-3 to provide data link to control unmanned helicopters aboard Littoral Combat Ship

Related: Next-generation Fire Scout unmanned helicopters to have increased range and payload

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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