Northrop Grumman has flown an MQ-8C Fire Scout autonomous helicopter for the first time at Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point, Miss., as part of flight tests.
MQ-8C is a modified version of the Bell 407 platform and completed performance assessments aboard the U.S. Navy‘s USS Coronado littoral combat ship in July, the company said Friday.
Melissa Packwood, program director of Fire Scout at Northrop, said the company seeks to increase its ability to support the service branch with the autonomous helicopter.
Packwood added the recent flight test follows the firm’s aircraft manufacturing facility and workforce expansion initiatives at Moss Point.
Northrop marked the 10th anniversary of the site in 2016 and signed lease extension agreement to use a building near Trent Lott International Airport through 2026.