The Navy has declared that the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has achieved initial operational capability.
“The milestone is a culmination of several years of hard work and dedication from our joint government and industry team,” Capt. Eric Soderberg, the Fire Scout program manager, said in an article published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI).
Like its B-version predecessor, the MQ-8C provides the fleet with reconnaissance, situational awareness and precision targeting support, AUVSI reported. It is capable of remaining aloft on station for 12 hours. The Navy expects to procure 38 aircraft during the next few years, and deploy on littoral combat ships by 2021.