Fire Scout Demonstrates Network-Centric Capabilities


Released on Wednesday, March 29, 2006
United States of America
LCS Freedom
MQ-8B Fire Scout
RQ-8A Fire Scout
BTCR - Beyond Line-of-Sight Tactical UAV Communications Relay
CONDOR - Command and Control On-The-Move Network Digital Over-The-Horizon Relay
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
VTUAV - Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Northrop Grumman Corporation, in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, successfully demonstrated the ability to extend communications range and capability using the RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV).

Northrop Grumman's RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle demonstrated that a tactical UAV can be used to enable over-the-horizon communications relay, allowing ground troops on the move and battlefield commanders to share uninterrupted voice, data and real-time video.

Testing took place February 13-24 at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. This event also marked Fire Scout's 200th flight, another milestone toward development of the Navy's VTUAV, which is intended to support the Littoral Combat Ship program.

Testing for the program, called Beyond Line-of-Sight Tactical UAV Communications Relay (BTCR), successfully demonstrated that a tactical UAV can be used to enable over-the-horizon communications relay, allowing ground troops on the move and battlefield commanders to share uninterrupted voice, data and real-time video.

This test provides an airborne extension to the ground-based Command and control On-the-move Network Digital Over-the-horizon Relay (CONDOR), the U.S. Marine Corps answer to current communication problems faced by troops in the field.

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