Fire Scout

Fire ScoutMQ-8B
Overview: Northrop Grumman's Transformational Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system provides unprecedented situation awareness and precision targeting support for U.S. Armed Forces of the future.

The MQ-8B Fire Scout has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to the soldier in contact.

Legacy of High Reliability:
Based on a Schweizer Aircraft commercial airframe with over 20 million flight hours, the Fire Scout vehicle incorporates reliable turbine power (160 million flight hours) using standard NATO heavy fuel. Leveraging from this FAA certified aircraft with commonality of over 50 percent of the mechanical parts, the servicing and logistical processes are well known, proven and documented. This "low risk" approach for the airframe allows effective maturation of the entire system within a short development schedule.

Fire ScoutMQ-8C
Overview: The MQ-8C Fire Scout will provide the U.S. Navy with an increased range by over 30%, twice the endurance and an increased payload capacity over the existing MQ-8B variant. Under a risk reduction and cost-savings approach, the unmanned systems architecture developed and matured for the MQ-8B is re-used in a Bell 407 helicopter to support a special operations requirement for a ship-based unmanned system. Northrop Grumman is the only provider capable of meeting the Navy's needs by mid-2014.



  • Northrop Grumman's decade-long expertise in unmanned helicopter development puts the company in the best position to supply the Navy with it's next-generation Fire Scout quickly and affordably.
  • The Bell 407 is a mature commercial helicopter with more than 1,000 airframes produced and over 3 million flight hours. Combined with the maturity of Northrop Grumman's unmanned systems architecture, the MQ-8C Fire Scout uses available technology and equipment to deliver a more capable system to the Navy.
  • The MQ-8C's capabilities have already been validated through the Fire-X demonstration program. Additionally, the unmanned systems architecture has accrued more than 7,800 flight hours, with over 5,900 of those hours flown operationally from ships and on land.