Saturday, February 24, 2024

U.S. Navy drone helicopter demonstrates expeditionary capability during exercise

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has announced that the Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout recently supported an Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) exercise off the coast of California, demonstrating its capability to transition from ship-to-shore in a maritime environment.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout participated in the Resolute Hunter exercise June 21-July 1, flying a total of 23 hours and proving the unmanned helicopter’s expeditionary use from land and across multiple ship classes.

Resolute Hunter is a joint and coalition large force exercise focused on training personnel on battle management, command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

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“Fire Scout is the Navy’s only unmanned helicopter with the ability to deploy from a ship or land with ISR&T at the extended range required for future warfighting,” said Capt. Dennis Monagle, Fire Scout program manager. “The system is vital in expeditionary use for situational awareness and critical decision-making.”

During the exercise, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 successfully launched MQ-8C Fire Scout from Point Mugu and completed a hand-off to the detachment’s Portable Mission Control Station (MCS-P) at San Clemente Island. The portable MCS-P ground control station helps Fire Scout basing in austere locations on land, helipad operations in an advanced forward location, and logistics support from ship flight decks.

With the flexible MCS-P, Fire Scout has the ability to land on another ship or an expeditionary shore site where a runway is not feasible.

Fire Scout is currently deployed aboard USS Jackson (LCS-6) in the Indo-Pacific region. The Navy plans to continue deployments aboard LCS with future deployments planned on Constellation-class guided-missile frigates and potential operations from shore sites under the EABO concept.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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