Point Mugu, Calif. Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout has successfully completed precision sloped landing tests at Point Mugu, Naval Base Ventura County.
The MQ-8C is the latest Fire Scout unmanned aerial system (UAS), which is designed to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for the U.S. Navy. These flight tests will culminate in theMQ-8C Fire Scout’s actual takeoff and landing at-sea on the deck of a Navy vessel.
“The sloped takeoff and landing tests are designed to be as real as it gets to actually operating on a Navy ship,” says Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager at Naval Air Systems Command. “The autonomous MQ-8C Fire Scout system is able to precisely track and understand the roll and pitch of the surface, which resembles at-sea conditions.”
The MQ-8C Fire Scout has completed 219 flights and accumulated 287 flight hours since its first flight almost one year ago – October 31, 2013. Recently, the MQ-8C has undergone electromagnetic testing and the initial phase of dynamic interface testing. The first ship-based series of flights are scheduled for late 2014.