Fire Scout is a combat-proven, autonomous helicopter system providing real-time Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Target-acquisition, laser designation and battle management to tactical users without relying on manned aircraft or space-based assets.
Fire Scout Unmanned Aircraft System
Unprecedented Persistent Situational Awareness
There are two Fire Scout variants. The smaller MQ-8B Fire Scout has deployed on multiple frigates and is currently deployed on a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). MQ-8B Fire Scout has also deployed to Afghanistan to support counter- improvised explosive device (IED) operations. This system has completed more than 16,600 flight hours over 6,200 sorties. The Navy has integrated a multi-mode maritime radar on MQ-8B and tested an onboard weapons capability, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS). The MQ-8B Fire Scout has also demonstrated the ability to operate concurrently with other manned aircraft while operating at sea.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout is the Navy’s next-generation autonomous helicopter. The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,600 airframes produced and over 4.4 million flight hours. Combined with the maturity of Northrop Grumman’s autonomous systems architecture, Fire Scout meets customer requirements for ship-based and land-based autonomous systems. It also has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable ship and from prepared and unprepared landing zones. This enhancement significantly increases range and endurance (more than double) and payload capacity (more than triple). The MQ-8C has completed developmental testing and is ready to deploy.
Fire Scout Videos
Fire Scout in the News
MQ-8C Fire Scout Completes First Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations Exercise
US Navy Deploys MQ-8C Fire Scout to Indo-Pacific
Northrop Grumman-Built MQ-8C Fire Scout Makes Operational Deployment with the US Navy
Fire Scout Media Contact