An MQ-8 Fire Scout UAS completed its first flight with a new multimode maritime surface search radar on June 16 at Webster Field Annex, Md. The upgrade will enhance long-range imaging and search capabilities for Navy commanders.
Warfighters will now have the latest in radar technology to pair with their current electro-optical infrared payload. Integrating this new radar system will provide the MQ-8B Fire Scout with essential operational capabilities in all tactical environments and will improve how it addresses threats in real-world scenarios.
“Fire Scout is pushing the limits of unmanned helicopters by continuing to add enhanced capabilities to its already advanced payload,” said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “This modernized radar complements Fire Scout’s other sensors and systems to provide the Navy with increased visibility far beyond the horizon, while collecting vital imaging for maritime operations.”
Northrop Grumman modified a Telephonics Corporation AN/ZPY-4 multi-mode maritime surveillance radar system used for manned aircraft, so it could be used on the unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout.
Fire Scout’s deployment with the new radar is planned for 2015.