The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout is a multipurpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – helicopter, developed by Northrop Grumman for use by the United States Armed Forces. The first flight of the MQ-8B version took place on 18 December 2006 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The MQ-8B was based on the Schweizer 333 helicopter. This UAV has a four-blade main rotor. MQ-8B is fitted with stub wings which serve both an aerodynamic purpose as well as an armament carriage location.
The MQ-8B is being modified to permit rapid swap out of payload configurations. The current sensor configuration of a day/night turret with a laser target designator will remain an option. Weapons to be carried include Hellfire missiles, Viper Strike laser-guided glide weapons, and in particular pods carrying the “Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)”, a laser-guided 70 millimeter folding-fin rocket.
|Specifications of MQ-8B |
|Rotor diameter||8.4 m|
|Empty weight||940.3 kg|
|Maximal takeoff weight||1,430 kg|
|Powerplant||1 x Rolls-Royce 250, 313 kW|
|Maximum speed||213 km/h|
|Cruise speed||200 km/h|
|Combat radius||203.7 km|
|Service ceiling||6,100 m|
The MQ-8 Fire Scout is designed to provide reconnaissance, precision targeting and fire support for missions of ground, air and sea forces.
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1 Author released this work into the public domain.