The US Navy Deployed Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout

The US Navy Deployed Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout
The US Navy Deployed Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout

Northrop Grumman announced that MQ-8C Fire Scout, the United States Navy's next-generation ship-based autonomous helicopter system, entered service on December 14, 2021. Fire Scout is deployed with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Detachment 5 (HSC-22 DET 5) aboard the USS Milwaukee (LCS-5).


BBMQ-8C Fire Scout has an endurance of more than 10 hours and a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles, allowing for customizable mission sets such as real-time over-the-horizon targeting. When used in conjunction with manned aircraft, Fire Scout enables commanders to deploy manned assets more effectively. 
The MQ-8C Fire Scout's airframe is based on a Bell 407 commercial aircraft, contributing to affordability by lowering lifecycle expenses such as initial development, supply chain, and flying hour reliability. MQ-8C Fire Scout is also equipped with a Leonardo AN/ZPY-8 (Osprey) radar, which enables it to detect and automatically track contacts at long ranges, at night, and even in stormy weather conditions when visibility is extremely poor.