Northrop Grumman selects Cubic data link systems for U.S. Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout

Officials at Northrop Grumman Corp. in San Diego needed a data-transfer system for the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

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Officials at Northrop Grumman Corp. in San Diego needed a data-transfer system for the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They found their solution at Cubic Defense Applications, the defense systems subsidiary of Cubic Corp. in San Diego.

Engineers at Cubic Defense Applications have provided initial production units of a high-speed data link system for the unmanned aircraft. Cubic Defense Applications has delivered three ground data terminals and nine air data terminals to Northrop Grumman’s facility in San Diego, Calif., where engineers and technicians will perform final integration activities for the first payload flight. Each Fire Scout data link system comprises two components, air data terminals and ground data terminals, both of which assist in the Fire Scout’s ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) and targeting missions.

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“The Tactical Common Data Link is performing well under rigorous integration testing, and we are on schedule to ship additional Navy units later this year,” says Rich Smith, senior director of ISR Tactical Data Links for Cubic Defense Applications.

The MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical takeoff and landing tactical UAV, is a multimission platform that is derived from the Schweizer Model 333 manned helicopter. It is infused with reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and attack capabilities, and can be deployed aboard virtually any aviation-capable ship.

For additional information, visit Cubic Defense Applications online at www.cubic.com.

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