SAN DIEGO, Nov. 1, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Army's Airworthiness Development and Test Center performed flight demonstrations of the U.S. Army's MQ-8 Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing unmanned air vehicle (UAV) during the 50th anniversary celebration at Fort Rucker, Ala., the home of Army aviation.
Before thousands of service members, their families and local community members, Fire Scout performed numerous flight demonstrations Oct. 21-22, illustrating the capabilities it can bring to soldiers and battlefield commanders.
"Fire Scout looked and performed great. It will be an important element of our manned-unmanned training and will make a big difference in the survivability of our aviators," said Brig. Gen. E.J. Sinclair, commanding general of the Army's Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.
Fire Scout will provide a bird's eye view of combat situations through real-time streaming video. In addition to the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, Fire Scout can perform other missions such as delivery of supplies to soldiers in remote or dangerous locations, keeping pilots and air crews out of harm's way. Another capability that Fire Scout can bring to the battlefield is weapons delivery. The MQ-8 Fire Scout demonstrated this capability at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona after successfully firing two 2.75 inch rockets, generating great interest by the Army and Navy.
The Fire Scout will serve as the largest UAV in the Army's network of manned and unmanned air vehicles that work together to perform a variety of functions on the battlefield. Fire Scout will perform reconnaissance and relay information as part of this network. Fire Scout is scheduled for deployment in 2011 but could be deployed by the Army four years early since it is significantly ahead of schedule.
The Fire Scout is also being developed to work on board the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship and to date has flown for more than 150 hours over the course of 170 flights. The Navy version of the Fire Scout is scheduled to demonstrate shipboard approaches and landings in the near future.
Northrop Grumman is the leading producer of unmanned systems for the United States' military and is advancing its unmanned-systems capabilities in the areas of command and control, open system architecture, manned/unmanned interoperability, and software development. The company's portfolio spans a broad spectrum of capabilities. Current systems in service, production or development include the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk and Army MQ-5 Hunter currently supporting the global war on terrorism; the BQM-34 and BQM-74 aerial targets; and the X-47 Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force and Navy. In addition, development work on the Killer Bee for the USMC tier II program is ongoing.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use in networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Tim Paynter Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (858) 618-4245 firstname.lastname@example.org