Northrop Grumman Corp. has recorded 5,000 flight hours for its unmanned helicopter the U.S. Navy used for surveillance operations in Afghanistan.
The MQ-8B Fire Scout chopper, which was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, has worked to counter improvised explosive devices, transmit video to ground troops and provide airborne surveillance and targeting support, Northrop said Tuesday.
George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium-range tactical systems at Northrop Grumman, said the Fire Scout was designed to help Navy commanders carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
“What we’ve already done with the current system will be carried over to the new Fire Scout,“ added Vardoulakis.
Northrop Grumman is slated to develop 30 MQ-8C endurance upgrade Fire Scouts, the first eight of which are expected to operate in 2014, the company says.