SAN DIEGO, July 15, 2009 -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed (NYSE:NOC) MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) testing in the U.S. provided a real-time video feed of electro-optical/ infrared sensor (EO/IR) imagery to participants at the Paris Air Show recently.
The video feed was provided by a U.S. Navy aircraft flying from the Webster Annex of NAS Patuxent River, Md. The aircraft operated in a maritime training area the week of June 15 and was able to provide real-time, continuous streaming imagery of selected areas on the Chesapeake Bay and on the shoreline of Southern Maryland. Additionally, as a test of Fire Scout's communications relay capability, the U.S. Coast Guard operated a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) as a primary target on the water and the Air Vehicle Operator (AVO) communicated directly to the RHIB via Fire Scout. The air vehicle was commanded to "Clear Voice Relay" with one radio on an approved unused UHF frequency and the other radio was set to the Maritime Band. This configuration allowed direct communication between the AVO ashore and the RHIB operating on the water.
Utilizing a FLIR Systems Inc. BriteStar II that includes EO/IR with laser rangefinder/designator, the MQ-8B Fire Scout can find and identify tactical targets, track and designate targets, accurately provide targeting data to strike platforms and perform battle damage assessment.
"Fire Scout's ability to provide real-time EO/IR imagery in this demonstration is significant because it shows the impressive capability of the sensor and the ability to move data and imagery to remote sites in support of warfighters in the field. Fire Scout has once again proven its versatility and capability, and we experienced very good feedback from potential customers who observed this demo," said Mike Fuqua, Business Development Manager at Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
The U.S. Navy Fire Scout will complete Operational Evaluation this summer and is slated to deploy aboard USS McInerney (FFG-8).
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Sherri Pineda Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (858) 618-4556 Sherri.firstname.lastname@example.org