The company and Navy flew the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for the demonstration as part of the efforts to help Navy commanders increase their long-range imaging and search capabilities, Northrop said Tuesday.
“Fire Scout is pushing the limits of unmanned helicopters by continuing to add enhanced capabilities to its already advanced payload,” George Vardoulakis said, vice president of medium range tactical systems for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “This modernized radar complements Fire Scout’s other sensors and systems to provide the Navy with increased visibility far beyond the horizon, while collecting vital imaging for maritime operations.”
Northrop and the Navy are shooting for the new radar system to give Fire Scouts the operational ability to change the game in how threats are to be addressed in real-world scenarios across all tactical environments.
Northrop intends to pair the new radar and Fire Scout’s current electro-optical infrared payload for the helicopter before operating in the field, the company said.