MQ-8C Fire Scout
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
3 December 2014
31 October 2013
Origin: United States of America
Bell Helicopter, Cubic Corporation, GE Aviation, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman*, Rolls-Royce, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Summit Aviation (*) lead contractor
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Description: The MQ-8C Fire Scout is an upgraded variant of the MQ-8 unmanned rotorcraft combining the Bell 407 helicopter airframe and the MQ-8B unmanned system architecture. The Fire Scout endurance upgrade, designated the MQ-8C, provides greater endurance, range and payload capacity in support of intelligence-gathering missions. The new variant is a product derived from the Fire-X technological demonstrator. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the MQ-8C program with Bell Helicopter supplying the Bell 407 airframe and Rolls-Royce the Model 250 turboshaft engine. On April 23, 2012, the US Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $262 million contract for eight MQ-8C aircraft. The US Navy plans call for the procurement of 28 rotorcrafts. As of December 2014, the procurement program scope increased to 70 aircraft.
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