An unmanned autonomous helicopter developed for the US Armed Forces to be used in the reconnaissance and targeting support roles. The initial version, known as RQ-8A, was based on the Schweizer 330 and was the winner of the US Navy VTOL-UAV competition. This aircraft soon proved to not be good enough for service. The US Army joined the program in 2006 and a new variant was introduced. Named MQ-8B, is based on the Schweizer 333 with a 4-blades main rotor and Raytheon avionics, has greater payload and better overall performance. Fire Scout systems were used in the development of the Bell/Northrop-Grumman Fire-X which led to the MQ-8C.
HSC-23 Makes History with MQ-8B Drones, 15-Aug-17 : US Navy’s HSC-23 trained handed off two autonomous, radar-equipped MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopters between multiple ground stations, a program first.
HSC-23 Detachment on USS Coronado, 03-Feb-17 : US Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23’s MH-60S Seahawk and MQ-8B Fire Scout drone embarked on USS Coronado (LCS-4) Littoral combat ship on deployment with the 7th Fleet in Singapore
USS Coronado Deploys with Next-Gen UAV Controls, 27-Apr-16 : USS Coronado (LCS-4) new unmanned helicopter control system brings flexible mission control to first US Navy littoral missions.
MQ-8B Fire Scout on Coast Guard Ship for First Time, 16-Dec-14 : Northrop Grumman, US Coast Guard and US Navy flew the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter on the Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750) near Los Angeles, Dec. 5, 2014.
New advanced radar for the MQ-8B Fire Scout, 17-Jun-14 : SAN DIEGO, CA – Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy demonstrated a new multimode maritime surveillance radar on the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that will drastically enhance long-range imaging and search capabilities for Navy commanders.
Derivatives & Versions
|RQ-8A Fire Scout||2000|
|MQ-8B Fire Scout||2006|| First flown Dec 2006 at NAS Patuxent River Webster Field annex. |
List of Operators of Northrop-Grumman MQ-8A/B Fire Scout
|From||Organisation with model MQ-8A/B Fire Scout|
|Construction Numbers on database of MQ-8A/B Fire Scout or its versions|