The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8) has used the unique unmanned aerial vehicle, called the MQ-8B Fire Scout, during a live-fire exercise, Jan. 12, 2020.
Montgomery is on a rotational deployment to USINDOPACOM, conducting operations, exercises and port visits throughout the region and working hull-to-hull with allied and partner navies to provide maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
During recent exercise, Sailors assigned to the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery conducted flight operation of MQ-8B Navy Fire Scout of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 (HSC 23).
The Fire Scout is the Navy’s only unmanned aircraft to operate on land and at sea. The Fire Scout is a vertical take-off and landing UAV capable of carrying out surveillance, tracking and targeting missions.
The Navy has integrated a multi-mode maritime radar on MQ-8B and tested an onboard weapons capability, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS). The MQ-8B Fire Scout has also demonstrated the ability to operate concurrently with other manned aircraft while operating at sea.
The MQ-8B will be capable of deploying Hellfire laser-guided missiles or two packs of four 70mm (2.75in) Hydra rockets or advanced precision kill weapon system laser-guided rockets or two Northrop Grumman Viper Strike precision munitions. Viper Strike has global positioning system (GPS) guidance and a semi-active laser seeker.