US Drone Helicopter

The ultimate remote-control helicopter: US Military set to use full-sized aircraft that is actually a DRONE

MQ-8C Fire Scout will be used by US Military as a surveillance drone

Has same capabilities and range as a Bell 407 Helicopter

At first glance, it looks like a perfectly normal helicopter.

But Northrop Grumman’s new MQ-8C Fire Scout is missing one key thing - a pilot.
The craft, shown off at a trade show this week, has been stuffed with electronics so it can be flown as a drone - but with all the same capabilities as a normal helicopter.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, fourblade, single-engine unmanned helicopter. 
'It will carry an array of reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) sensors to  support warfighters’ demands for enhanced situational awareness,' the firm said.

The craft combines the best of two proven air systems in a low-cost, fast-fielding package,' said the defence firm.

Earlier this year the US Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $71 million contract to procure six additional MQ-8C Fire-X variants, for a total of 30 aircraft.

George Vardoulakis, vice president for tactical unmanned systems with Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector said, 'this contract provides significant momentum for the work Northrop Grumman and its supply chain partners are doing to meet the Navy's requirements.'

The drone is based on a Bell 407 helicopter, which is often used by hospitals, news organizations, movie studios and law  enforcement agencies worldwide.

Over 1,000 have been sold, with over 3 million accumulated flight hours - but now it is undergoing a radical conversion.

'Fire Scout supports both maritime and land-based  missions, taking off and landing on aviation-capable  warships, and at prepared and unprepared landing  zones in proximity to ground troops.

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