The U.S. Navy has completed its test flight of a second modernized Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that Northrop Grumman built for the service.
Northrop and the Navy remotely flew a MQ-8C variant Wednesday at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mogu, Calif., the company said Thursday.
“The addition of the second MQ-8C means we can begin testing on more components and equipment needed to operate the system as an intelligence-gathering platform,” said George Vardoulakis, Northrop vice president for medium range tactical systems.
“This includes installing and conducting tests on the full sensor suite,” Vardoulakis added.
Fire Scout choppers are built with sensor technology that works to identify targets, collect full-motion video intelligence and transmit data in real time.
According to Northrop, the MQ-8C is scheduled to undergo ship-based flight tests this summer.
The MQ-8C completed its initial flight on Oct. 31 and has recorded 66 flight hours to date, Vardoulakis said.