Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout

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.[1][2][4][5]

MQ-8 Fire Scout
A US Navy MQ-8B with the BRITE Star II payload.   [3] 1

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.[2]

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.[2]

Specifications of MQ-8B [1][2]     
Payload    272 kg
Length    7.3 m
Rotor diameter    8.4 m
Height    2.9 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
Endurance    8 hours
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.[2]



1. MQ–8 Fire Scout (MQ-8B/MQ-8C) | Info, RQ-8A, Budget/Costs, Specs. – Mode of access:
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9. Northrop MQ-8 Fire Scout UAV in UAE. – Mode of access:
10. MQ-8 Fire Scout UAV On USS McInerney. – Mode of access:
11. MQ-8B Fire Scout Drone Helicopter. – Mode of access:
12. Fire Scout Afghanistan. – Mode of access:
13. Fire Scout MQ-8 UAV Naval Air Systems Command Overview. – Mode of access:
14. Sikorsky S-333. – Mode of access:
15. Yanushevsky R. Guidance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles / Rafael Yanushevsky. – Boca Raton; London; New York : CRC Press, 2011. – 353 p.


1 Author released this work into the public domain.