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Saturday, June 20, 2015

The helicopter that doesn't need a pilot: US Navy reveals plans to use 40 full size helicopter drones for long range missions

The Navy is poised to begin operational testing of its new MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS, a vertical take-off-and landing drone engineered for maritime missions and slated to deploy aboard the services’ Littoral Combat Ship by 2018, service officials told Defencetech.

The MQ-8C is a larger, upgraded version of the currently existing MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical take-off– and landing unmanned system which deployed to the Pacific theater aboard the USS Fort Worth.

The Navy has been conducting initial testing with two test MQ-8C aircraft as a step toward eventually acquiring up to 40 MQ-8Cs, said Capt. Jeff Dodge, program manager, Multi-mission Technical Unmanned Air System Office.

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