Thursday, October 29, 2015

Big Navy UAVs set for service

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy expects to begin operations of its unmanned fixed-wing Triton and the larger version of the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter in 2018. Speaking Oct. 29 at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International symposium, Pat Buckley, the Navy’s deputy program executive officer for unmanned aerial systems, said the MQ-4C Triton, the maritime version of the Global Hawk, and the MQ-8C version of the Fire Scout would reach initial operational capability in 2018. He said the operational assessment of the MQ-8C would begin “in a couple of months.” He also said a surface-search radar and possibly a weapons capability would be added to the MQ-8C in 2019. (Source: Seapower magazine, 10/29/15) Gulf Coast note: Fuselage work on Global Hawk variants and finishing work on Fire Scouts is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.