Northrop Grumman has successfully flown a second MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter at the US Navy’s Point Mugu test facility in California. The aircraft joins the first example which first flew last October and has since completed 41 test flights totally 66 hours.
“The addition of the second MQ-8C means we can begin testing on more components and equipment needed to operate the system as an intelligence-gathering platform,” George Vardoulakis, VP medium range tactical systems at Northrop Grumman said in a statement. “This includes installing and conducting tests on the full sensor suite.”
The MQ-8C utilises a Bell 407 airframe and is a growth version of the original but much smaller MQ-8B Fire Scout which was based on the Schweizer 333. Shipboard trials of the new Fire Scout are scheduled to start this northern summer.