MQ-8C prepares to land on destroyer. Northrop Grumman photo
NORFOLK, Va. -- The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman successfully flew the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for the first time off the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) last week off. After more than a year of land-based testing at Point Mugu, Calif., the MQ-8C performed 22 takeoffs and 22 landings while being controlled from the ship's ground control station. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/23/14) The MQ-8C, which uses a Bell 407 airframe, is a larger version of the battle-tested MQ-8B Fire Scout, which uses a Schweizer helicopter airframe. The B variant has tested aboard ships on numerous occasions. Final assembly for both variants is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.