US Navy Plans MQ-8C Test For Spring Written 6 December 2017

FlightGlobal reports that the US Navy expects to conduct “initial operational test and evaluation” for the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter this spring, “with sea-based testing on the littoral combat ship to follow in the summer, says a US Navy programme manager.” Fire Scout is anticipated to provide surveillance for US Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and “will provide greater payload, range and endurance than its predecessor,” the MQ-8B. Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) capabilities have been developed for the MQ-8B, but were put on hold for the MQ-8C “due to magazine restrictions and mission needs for the fleet, Navy programme manager Capt Jeff Dodge says.” Dodge said that while an APKWS development plan for the MQ-8C “is scheduled to start a couple years from now, the priority is getting the sensors first, making sure the connectivity is there and then later getting into weapons on the Fire Scout.”
More Info (FlightGlobal)