Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS completes sloped landing test
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 the MQ-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.