September 23, 2013 defense-update.com
The US Navy’s latest UAS, the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout MQ-8C unmanned helicopter began manufacturers’ ground testing at the Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, Calif., Sept. 20. Conducting initial engine runs of the aircraft allows engineers to collect data to ensure that all the aircraft’s systems are functioning and communicating properly prior to its first flight. This latest aircraft upgrade to the Fire Scout system provides the Navy with more than twice the endurance and three times the payload carrying capacity, enabling an unprecedented level of persistent surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance capability. The MQ-8C aircraft is scheduled to be ready for deployment beginning in 2014.