Tuesday, April 10, 2012
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The Navy has temporarily suspended Fire Scout flight operations while it investigates two unrelated operational mishaps with the MQ-8B unmanned helicopter. A Fire Scout operating off USS Simpson late last month was ditched at sea after a mission when it was unable to lock on to the landing system. The crew later recovered the Fire Scout. Then in an April 6 incident, a Fire Scout crashed in northern Afghanistan while on a surveillance mission. The Navy has 14 Fire Scouts in inventory. Since 2006 Fire Scouts have accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours with more than 3,000 in operational deployments. (Source: NNS, 04/10/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.