The U.S. Navy recently awarded Northrop Grumman a contract for five additional MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters.
According to a statement, announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Defense, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., is awarded $55, million for modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for the procurement of five MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air systems and two lightweight fuel cells.
Work is expected to be completed in August 2021.
The ship-based MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter is a next-generation, unmanned air system designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman to support both land and sea-based military operations.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,600 airframes produced and over 4.4 million flight hours. Combined with the maturity of Northrop Grumman’s autonomous systems architecture, Fire Scout meets customer requirements for a ship-based and land-based autonomous systems. It also has the ability to autonomously take-off and land on any aviation-capable ship and from prepared and unprepared landing zones. This enhancement significantly increases range and endurance (more than double) and payload capacity (more than triple).
Fire Scout is