Northrop Grumman to build ten more drone helicopters for US Navy

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Northrop Grumman a $108,118,000 contract to deliver another ten Fire Scout MQ-8C unmanned air systems.

Fire Scout is an unmanned helicopter system that provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to the U.S. Navy.

There are two Fire Scout variants. The smaller MQ-8B has deployed on multiple frigates and is currently deployed on the littoral combat ship USS Coronado. MQ-8B has also deployed to Afghanistan to support counter- improvised explosive device (IED) operations.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is the Navy’s next generation unmanned helicopter. The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407. The MQ-8C has completed developmental testing and is ready to deploy.

Northrop Grumman is expected to complete the work by August 2019.