Military Review

"Northrop Grumman" began flight tests of UAV MQ-8C "Fire Scout"

"Northrop Grumman" began flight tests of UAV MQ-8C "Fire Scout"

The Northrop Grumman Company announced the successful conduct of the first flight tests of the MQ-8C "Fire Scout" helicopter-type UAV based on the Ventura County Navy in Point-Mugu (California) in cooperation with the US Navy.

The EMD-1 UAV prototype flew on October 31 at 12: 05 Pacific time and flew for seven minutes in an area restricted to air traffic to test the operation of autonomous control systems. The second flight took place at 14: 39 and lasted for 9 minutes. The BLA has reached a height of 500 feet. The flight was managed by a team of specialists from the US Navy and Northrop Grumman.

The MQ-8C was developed in response to the need of the US Navy for a UAV, which will have a greater range, autonomy, and payload than the MQ-8B, which will allow it to perform reconnaissance missions with high efficiency. The use of the Bell-407 helicopter as a platform, equipped with additional fuel tanks and a higher-powered engine, makes it possible to transport three times the payload and double autonomy compared to the MQ-8B variant, which also reduces the workload on the crew of the ship, reducing the number of takeoffs and landings. MQ-8C will be able to transport 2600 pounds (1179,3 kg) of the payload and be in the air 12-15 h (for MQ-8B - up to 5 h). MQ-8C on 3 is longer than the “B” version and can reach speeds of 140 nodes (30 nodes are larger than the MQ-8B).

The MQ-8B UAVs are currently performing combat missions aboard US Navy frigates, supporting anti-piracy operations. Since the beginning of 2011, these UAVs have also been used in Afghanistan for reconnaissance.

Using on-board sensors, the UAV can perform high-quality imaging, identify targets, and then distribute information to various users in real time, increasing situational awareness of the ship’s command and allowing long-term tracking of objects of interest.

As previously reported by TSAMTO, in April 2012, the Command aviation According to the results of the tender, the US Navy signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to develop a new version of the VTUAV (vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle) tactical helicopter UAV. The cost of the agreement was $ 262,336 million. As part of the contract, the company is to develop the next generation Fire Scout UAV, the MQ-407C, based on the Bell-8 helicopter, which should be ready for use in 2014. The contract provided for the development, manufacture and testing of two prototypes, the supply of 6 serial machines, sets of spare parts and support for the supplied equipment. In March 2013, the US Navy signed a $ 71 million contract with Northrop Grumman for the supply of 6 additional MQ-8C Fire Scout, which increased the number of vehicles ordered to 14 units. (including 2 prototypes). In total, the US Navy intends to purchase up to 28 UAVs of the new version, which will complement the fleet of 168 MQ-8B UAVs.

The MQ-8C UAV will undergo initial tests aboard the destroyers of the US Navy. According to the developer, this UAV can also be used on ships with a lower displacement.

Northrop Grumman is the main contractor of the MQ-8 Fire Scout program sold by the US Navy. The development team also includes Bell Helicopter, Rolls-Royce, Summit Aviation, Cubic Corporation, General Electric Aviation (General Electric Aviation), Sierra Nevada Corporation (Sierra Nevada Corporation) and Honeywell (Honeywell).
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  1. makarov
    makarov 7 November 2013 08: 52
    But for any "human factor" will be present, since it does not matter whether the aircraft is controlled by the pilot, or the operator
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 7 November 2013 09: 09
      This UAV is how to say? -First generation, or something-controlled by operators.
      Already there are UAVs that can take off themselves, arrive at a given point along a given route (even choose it yourself! This is AI in action), land, for example, pick up a wounded man, then he will take off, and will arrive at the right place, he will land, and he will wait for further directions ...
    2. Professor
      Professor 7 November 2013 09: 16
      Quote: makarov
      But for any "human factor" will be present, since it does not matter whether the aircraft is controlled by the pilot, or the operator

      Do not confuse a remotely controlled vehicle of the 70s of the last century with a modern UAV.

      Here is more about this UAV:UAV Development Deathmatch
      1. Aryan
        Aryan 7 November 2013 11: 05
        is there a booth for programmers there? belay
        1. Nayhas
          Nayhas 7 November 2013 11: 35
          Quote: Aryan
          is there a booth for programmers there?

          UAV MQ-8C "Fire Scout" is made of civilian helicopters on the principle of "a woman was taken out, a machine gun was put in."
        2. DuraLexSedLex.
          DuraLexSedLex. 7 November 2013 12: 44
          Based on serialI want to pay attention to this again serial "Bell-407"that is, the case of a serial helicopter without changes. In the so-called former cockpit, various equipment can be placed, ranging from radars to additional fuel tanks.
        3. APASUS
          APASUS 7 November 2013 21: 14
          Quote: Aryan
          is there a booth for programmers there?

          They are sitting there over the tinted windows at the monitors. winked just like an Israeli robot protector
    3. AVV
      AVV 7 November 2013 11: 11
      He will have to work poorly in the conditions of electronic warfare, even Iran has a counteraction technique! Not to mention other countries! But this UAV costs a lot !!!
  2. makarov
    makarov 7 November 2013 08: 53
    But for any "human factor" will be present, since it does not matter whether the aircraft is controlled by the pilot, or the operator
  3. Ihrek
    Ihrek 7 November 2013 08: 58
    For the UAV future. They will not be afraid of overload, fatigue, and most importantly, if they knock down, the pilot will not suffer.
  4. Same lech
    Same lech 7 November 2013 09: 04
    I think such devices will be stuffed with a finished software product for a specific combat mission.

    That is, for example, it is necessary to bomb for example any object in SYRIA - a task is entered, a target, the necessary associated parameters, the start button and VUAL are pressed forward the horse.

    Behind this, the future is no risk to the aggressor, the human factor is absent — the machine is up to the light bulb on whom it is pouring bombs and missiles.
  5. user
    user 7 November 2013 10: 22
    Today, Russia in UAVs lags behind supporters. But in my opinion, in addition to UAVs, it is necessary to increase funding for electronic warfare. The use of electronic warfare in modern conditions, well, greatly limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
    1. Migari
      Migari 7 November 2013 12: 13
      What about drones. Nobody did this elementary. The enterprises that drones were supposed to do were simply vegetating. There was a deep misunderstanding between the enterprises of the defense industry and the Ministry of Defense. Some did not know what they needed. Others did not know what to do. There was a failure.
      Only when the "little Georgia" began to strongly "bite" Russia (during the armed conflict) on the use of drones, the country decided to take up the mind
      But many companies received a lot of money [for the development of drones] and did not do anything, because they were not able to. I had to buy Israeli and French drones, disassemble them and study how they work and what can be done with them.
      1. Professor
        Professor 7 November 2013 12: 19
        Quote: Migari
        I had to buy Israeli and French drones, disassemble them and study how they work and what can be done with them.

        Why are you writing nonsense? No one dismantled these drones since they purchased the technology for their production with all the documentation. Moreover, Russian specialists trained in Israel.
  6. rudolff
    rudolff 7 November 2013 14: 50
    Well done Americans, what can I say. The only strange thing is that we do not want to see point-blank solutions to the problems that lie on the surface. Even before the tender for the development of medium and heavy UAVs was placed, one had to seriously take care of the automated control systems of the aircraft and their integration into production vehicles. There will be a reliable ACS LA, there will be a UAV. Under this business, it would not be a sin to single out a couple of three old turntables, planes. Work out automatic take-off, landing, movement along the route, including using inertial navigation systems, test closed remote control channels.