The US Navy’s (USN’s) aviation support arm has embarked on a series of studies examining options for the possible weaponisation of its MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters.
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) will ask Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems to investigate the addition of unspecified anti-surface weapons together with upgrades to the mission processing unit (MPU).
The integration studies will help determine “potential upgrades/alternatives to the MPU and reduce future weaponisation risk through early design work on integrating potential weapon systems into the existing air vehicle architecture”, according to a NAVAIR solicitation.
Captain Eric Soderberg, programme manager at the Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems office (PMA-266), told Jane’s on 25 March, “The navy does not have a requirement to weaponise the MQ-8C, but NAVAIR has received funding for non-recurring engineering associated with this effort.
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