Sat, Dec 03, 2005
Scheduled To Fly By End Of 2006
Corporation tells Aero-News the company has successfully conducted
a critical design review of its MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV) for the US Navy. The review moves the program
closer to full-scale production and delivery of the vertical
takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV to the Navy.
"The teamwork shown by the integrated US Navy and Northrop
Grumman program team resulted in an excellent and well-coordinated
design review," said Cmdr. Rob Murphy, the Navy's team lead for the
Fire Scout program. "The long hours of preparation really paid
The review brought
together the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout team, the Navy and U.S.
Army program teams, Navy representatives for Littoral Combat Ship
integration and members of the Army's Future Combat System program.
Both services have been closely involved in the design to maximize
commonality across the Fire Scout platforms.
The technical review process covered every aspect of the UAV to
ensure it meets all current and future requirements. Specifically,
the review included air-vehicle design, avionics and payload
architecture, communications and data links, ship- and land-based
launch and recovery and the ability to integrate future payloads
onto the aircraft.
"Working with our Navy counterparts, the Fire Scout program
continues to mature into a capable and supportable asset for the
warfighter," said Doug Fronius, Northrop Grumman's program director
for the Navy Fire Scout.
Final assembly of the Fire Scout air vehicles will take place at
Northrop Grumman's new manufacturing facility in Moss Point, MS.
The first airframe is scheduled to arrive there in January from
Schweizer Aircraft Corp., a major supplier.
Following assembly, ground testing and first flight are
scheduled to be completed in late 2006.
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