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USS Montgomery uses unique unmanned aerial vehicle during live-fire exercise

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).

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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.

Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Haubrich, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, inspects the engine of an MQ-8B Navy Fire Scout on the flight deck of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), Jan. 12, 2020. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Roys
Sailors observe as an MQ-8B Navy Fire Scout hovers over the flight deck of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), Jan. 12, 2020. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Roys

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About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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