Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have demonstrated the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter with other autonomous assets to hunt sea mines, Flightglobal reported Thursday.
Fire Scout demonstrated its situational awareness capability and capacity to communicate with a submersible drone and a small unmanned surface ship to perform underwater mine sweeping operations at the service“™s three-day Advanced Naval Technology Exercise that commenced on Aug. 29.
“The goal is to increase the efficiency between the man and the machine,“ said Dan Redman, ANTX program manager at Northrop.
MQ-8C Fire Scout is based on Bell Helicopter“™s Bell 407 airframe and is designed to fly at an altitude of up to 16,000 feet for up to 12 hours to perform cargo transport, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The unmanned aircraft completed an initial operational test and evaluation aboard the Navy“™s USS Coronado littoral combat ship in July and was exhibited in the same month at the Royal International Air Tattoo in the U.K.