According to Defence Blog on July 9, the U.S. Navy announced on June 28 that the MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV had formed Initial Operational Capability (IOC), paving the way for training and fighting with the fleet.
According to the Naval Aviation Systems Command (NAVAIR), the MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV is a sea-based vertical lift UAV designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness and precise positioning for ground, air and sea forces. Eric Soderberg, project manager of the Fire Scout, said that the formation of the initial operational capability of the MQ-8C UAV was a milestone and a result of years of efforts and dedication by the government and industry team.
It is reported that the MQ-8C UAV, manufactured by Northrop Grumman, is an upgrade of its predecessor MQ-8Bs endurance and payload, which can provide up to 12 hours of operation according to its payload. The UAV can be used as a supplement to the MH-60 carrier-based helicopter to expand the range and endurance of carrier-based operations, and provide unique situational awareness and precise target support for the navy. MQ-8C will equip the upgraded radar to provide a wider view and a range of digital functions, including weather detection, air-to-air tracking and ground moving target indicator (GMTI).
Up to now, MQ-8C has completed more than 700 sorties and more than 1500 hours of flight. Over the next few years, Northrop Grumman will continue to deliver a total of 38 MQ-8C UAVs to the U.S. Navy. The UAV will be deployed on coastal combat ships (LCS) from 2021, while the MQ-8B will continue to serve on the 5th and 7th fleets of coastal combat ships.
Source: Global Times - Global Network Responsible Editor: Yao Wenguang_NN1682