Friday, June 22, 2018

MQ-8C being tested on LCS

MQ-8C aboard LCS Montgomery in April 2017
Navy photo
The Navy’s unmanned MQ-8C Fire Scout began a new series of operational testing this month aboard the USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of San Diego. The operations are a continuation of MQ-8C operational testing that began in April. This phase of testing is for the MQ-8C's ability to operate concurrently with other airborne assets and Littoral Combat Ships. The enhanced capability will provide commanders an improved and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance picture. During Coronado's 2016-17 deployment to the Western Pacific, it successfully used an MQ-8B Fire Scout – a smaller version of the Fire Scout – as a sensor to strike a target beyond visual range using a Harpoon surface-to-surface missile. Also in 2017, the MQ-8C in April had its first flight from the deck of an LCS underway. (Sources: NNS, 06/20/18,, 06/21/18) Gulf Coast note: Final assembly of the Fire Scout is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.; LCS 4 was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. Previous