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Northrop to build additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts for US Navy

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MQ-8C Fire Scout.

SAN DIEGO (BNS): To bolster the US Navy's real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, Northrop Grumman is set to build 10 more MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters for it.

The additional build will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout air vehicles procured to 29, extending the range and endurance of naval operations, the company said.

"MQ-8C is meeting all of its performance objectives, and the system is delivering a greater naval warfighting capability," said Capt. Jeff Dodge, programme manager, Fire Scout, Naval Air Systems Command.

"We are looking forward to moving the MQ-8C operational testing and deployment as a part of surface warfare mission packages," the official added.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout airframe is based on the reliable commercial Bell 407 helicopter.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout has completed operational assessment, a developmental flight test programme and is now preparing for Milestone C, Northrop said.

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