Northrop Grumman Corporation is set to build 10 additional MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters for the U. S. Navy, giving maritime commanders persistent, real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).
The additional build will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout air vehicles procured to 29, extending the range and endurance of naval operations.
«MQ-8C is meeting all of its performance objectives, and the system is delivering a greater naval warfighting capability», said Captain Jeff Dodge, program manager, Fire Scout, Naval Air Systems Command. «We are looking forward to moving the MQ-8C operational testing and deployment as a part of surface warfare mission packages».
The MQ-8C Fire Scout airframe is based on the reliable commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,600 airframes produced and over 4.4 million flight hours. Modifications to the MQ-8C’s airframes are carried out at the Bell Helicopter facility in Ozark, Alabama, while final assembly is performed in Moss Point, Mississippi.
«In partnership with the U.S. Navy, we are dedicated to fielding this state-of-the-art, ship-based ISR platform as part of a strategy that provides warfighters ISR», said Leslie Smith, vice president, tactical autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «We are pleased to support the Navy with additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts with maritime dominance support through this procurement. Our team will strive to exceed expectations in affordability, quality and on-time delivery».
MQ-8C Fire Scout has completed operational assessment, a developmental flight test program and is now preparing for Milestone C. MQ-8C Fire Scout has accrued over 730 flight hours and flown 353 sorties.
|Length||41.4 feet/12.6 m|
|Width||7.8 feet/2.4 m|
|Blades Folded Hangar||7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m|
|Height||10.9 feet/3.3 m|
|Rotor Diameter||35 feet/10.7 m|
|Gross Takeoff Weight||6,000 lbs/2,721.5 kg|
|Engine||Rolls-Royce M250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)|
|Speed||140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h (maximum)|
|Operational Ceiling||17,000 feet/5,182 m|
|Maximum Endurance||14 hrs|
|Maximum Payload (Internal)||1,000 lbs/453.6 kg|
|Typical Payload||600 lbs/272 kg (11 hrs endurance)|
|Maximum Sling Load||2,650 lbs/1,202 kg|
|Power||651 shp/485.45 kW|
|Length||42.95 inch/1.09 m|
|Diameter||24.81 inch/0.63 m|
|Basic weight||274 lbs/124.3 kg|
|Compressor||1CF (centrifugal high-pressure)|
|Turbine||2HP (two-stage high-pressure turbine), 2PT (two-stage power turbine)|