Sophisticated radar and tactical data link are on tap for Navy MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter


FARNBOROUGH, England – The Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter is advancing towards an early operational capability planned for the end of next year. AIN Online reports.
The Leonardo Osprey 30 active electronically scanned array (AESA) multi-mode radar is being added to the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, with flight trials expected to get under way this fall.
The lightweight Osprey comprises two AESA arrays that are mounted either side of the nose, providing a very wide sector coverage. It is also being equipped with a Link 16 data link to improve interoperability and its ability to perform targeting for shipborne weapon systems.
In the meantime, the MQ-8C recently has completed its first initial operational test and evaluation campaign. The assessment, which was off Southern California by VX-1 aboard USS Coronado and completed on June 29, included joint MQ-8C/MH-60S missions.