Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Congressional appropriators set aside $191 million for the Navy to buy a dozen long-range variants of the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Called the Fire-X during development, the Fire Scout MQ-8C uses a Bell 407 airframe in place of the smaller Schweizer 333 of the MQ-8B. The newer Fire Scout uses many of the systems of the smaller version, which is now a part of the Navy fleet. The Navy and Northrop are working out details of the deal to buy the C model, which can fly further and carry a larger payload. (Source: AOL Defense, 01/03/11) Gulf Coast note: The MQ-8B version is built in part in Moss Point, Miss.