C4iSR: Air

US Navy trials Fire Scout with new maritime search radar

19 June 2014

The US Navy has begun trials of the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter fitted with a new maritime surface search radar, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) disclosed on 16 June.

Test sorties of the Fire Scout equipped with the Telephonics AN/ZPY-4(V)1 maritime search radar commenced out of Webster Field Annex in Maryland on 9 June, with the goal of proving the system's ability to increase the situational awareness and threat warning in a high-traffic littoral environment.

NAVAIR did not divulge further details, except to say that it expects to field the enhanced capability in 2015.

Based on the Schweizer 333 helicopter, the single-engined MQ-8B can fly with a maximum payload of 272 kg for up to three hours out to a mission radius of 110 n miles.

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