SAN DIEGO, May 19, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy has moved one step closer to operational capability for its RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the on-time delivery of the second production unit by its maker, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).
The company's Integrated Systems sector delivered the air vehicle April 14 to the Navy's Webster Field UAV test facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
"Delivering the second Fire Scout production vehicle is an important and necessary step on the path to demonstrating the system's distinctive technical capabilities, such as landing aboard a ship," said Scott Winship, Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout program manager. "By consistently reaching major milestones on or ahead of schedule, we reinforce our commitment to this program and the combined Navy, Marine Corps and industry team that has worked so hard to make Fire Scout successful."
The Fire Scout production vehicles are integrated and tested at Integrated Systems' Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego. The second vehicle was rolled out April 4.
The Navy and Northrop Grumman began the Fire Scout's flawless flight test program in May 2002. To date, the development team has conducted 40 consecutive successful flight tests. The team is currently making preparations to begin land-based takeoff and recovery flight-testing with the UAV Common Automatic Recovery System and Tactical Control System in early summer. This testing is a precursor to shipboard testing later this summer on the USS Denver off the coast of San Diego.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, one of Northrop Grumman Corporation's seven operating sectors, is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for U.S. government, civil and international customers. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland security missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command & control; and integrated strike warfare.
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