Northrop’s MQ-8C Helicopter Reaches Navy Initial Operational Capability Designation

A Northrop Grumman-built unmanned helicopter has achieved an initial operational capability status from the U.S. Navy that will allow the aircraft to deploy for training and fleet operations.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout has achieved over 1.5K flight hours in 700 sorties and is built to support warfighters with situational awareness and precision targeting capabilities, the Naval Air Systems Command said Monday.

It can also accompany the MH-60 helicopter to help expand the coverage of the Navy’s ship-based missions.

Northrop plans to install an updated radar platform onto the MQ-8C to equip the aircraft with various digital modes and a larger field of view. The MQ-8C is slated to deploy with littoral combat ships in fiscal year 2021.

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