Saturday, September 15, 2018

Moss Point flight testing MQ-8Cs

MQ-8C takes off in Moss Point, Miss.
Northrop Grumman photo
MOSS POINT, Miss. – Northrop Grumman recently began flight tests for MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters produced in Moss Point at the Trent Lott International Airport, a major milestone for the company and the region's aerospace economy. The plant is key to producing and testing the MQ-8C Fire Scout, the Navy's newest autonomous helicopter that is bringing increased speed, endurance and payload capacity to maritime operations. The Navy recently completed initial operational test and evaluation aboard the USS Coronado (LCS 4) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, which has over 1,500 program flight hours. The aircraft is a modified Bell 407 helicopter, and final assembly is done in Moss Point at a 101,000-square-foot plant that opened in 2006 and now works on the Fire Scout and Global Hawk unmanned systems and does subassembly work for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. "Building on Northrop Grumman's recent announcement of new production capabilities in Moss Point and a 40 percent increase in employment at the site, the ability to now conduct MQ-8C Fire Scout flight tests where the production occurs will bring new efficiencies and effectiveness to our local operations and improve our ability to serve the U.S. Navy," said Melissa Packwood, program director, Fire Scout, Northrop Grumman. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 09/14/18) Previous: MQ-8C being tested on LCS; Plant expanding, adds F-35 work