May 5, 2014

US Navy to equip MQ-8C UAV for electronic warfare

The US Navy plans to equip the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle with an electronic warfare capability through the development of a new external pod.
Work is scheduled to be completed in June 2015.
Developed from the Bell 407 manned helicopter, the MQ-8C Fire scout will provide an enhanced capability over its smaller MQ-8B namesake, which is modelled on the smaller Schweizer 330. The MQ-8C has a range of about 150 n miles and a payload capacity over 317 kg.
The USN is scheduled to receive 28 MQ-8Cs to augment the 168 MQ-8Bs it plans to operate in both the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and unmanned strike roles. Sea-trials of the MQ-8C aboard the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship are set to run through to early 2015, with the first deployment scheduled for 2016.

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