The MQ-8C Fire Scout landing on the USS Dunham for the first time. the drone does not need a runway to take off so the Navy hopes to use it on smaller ships.

 

HELICOPTER DRONE SPECS 

- The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, fourblade, single-engine unmanned helicopter.  
- The 31-foot long Fire Scout can fly at airspeeds up to 110 knots and reach altitudes of 20,000 feet.
- The aircraft weighs 3,150 pounds at its maximum take-off weight and is powered by one Rolls-Royce heavy fuel turboshaft engine.

The US Navy is poised to begin operational testing of its new MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS, a vertical take-off-and landing drone engineered for maritime missions and slated to deploy aboard the services’ Littoral Combat Ship by 2018, service officials told Defencetech.
The MQ-8C is a larger, upgraded version of the currently existing MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical take-off– and landing unmanned system which deployed to the Pacific theater aboard the USS Fort Worth. 
The Navy has been conducting initial testing with two test MQ-8C aircraft as a step toward eventually acquiring up to 40 MQ-8Cs, said Capt. Jeff Dodge, program manager, Multi-mission Technical Unmanned Air System Office.
Seventeen of the new drones are already on order, he added.
“The MQ-8C has shown greater range and endurance than we had originally estimated,” Dodge said in an interview with Military​.com.
The MQ-8C air vehicle upgrade will provide longer endurance, range and greater payload capability than the existing smaller MQ-8B.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, fourblade, single-engine unmanned helicopter.
'It will carry an array of reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) sensors to support warfighters' demands for enhanced situational awareness,' the firm said.
After more than a year of land-based testing at Point Mugu, California, the MQ-8C Fire Scout has now made 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings while being controlled from the ship's ground control station.
'The MQ-8C Fire Scout's flights from the USS Dunham represent a significant Navy milestone,' said said Capt. Jeff Dodge, Fire Scout program manager at Naval Air Systems Command.
'This is the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer.

No pilot required: tests full-size helicopter drone
 
The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, fourblade, single-engine unmanned helicopter.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, fourblade, single-engine unmanned helicopter.
 
 
The drone is based on a Bell 407 helicopter, 
which is often used by hospitals, news organizations, 
movie studios and law enforcement agencies worldwide.

The unmanned systems architecture has accrued more than 7,800 flight hours, with over 5,900 of those hours flown operationally from ships and on land.
The unmanned systems architecture has accrued more than 7,800 flight hours, with over 5,900 of those hours flown operationally from ships and on land.

The drone is based on a Bell 407 helicopter, which is often used by hospitals, news organizations, movie studios and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Over 1,000 have been sold, with over 3 million accumulated flight hours - but now it is undergoing a radical conversion.
'Fire Scout supports both maritime and land-based missions, taking off and landing on aviation-capable warships, and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to ground troops.
The unmanned systems architecture has accrued more than 7,800 flight hours, with over 5,900 of those hours flown operationally from ships and on land. 

Full size drone copter land on a ship
  


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