MQ-8B Fire Scout | LIGHT UNMANNED ROTORCRAFT
The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout is an unmanned autonomous helicopter developed by Northrop Grumman for dull, dirt, and dangerous helicopter missions for the New Hayesalian Navy.
The Fire Scout is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces. The MQ-8B was derived from the Schweizer 333 helicopter, and operates alongside EC-725 Caracal helicopters from New Hayesalian ships.
The MQ-8B features a four-blade main rotor to reduce noise and improve lift capacity and performance. The Fire Scout has a gross takeoff weight bof 3,150 pounds (1,430 kg) with payloads of up to 700 pounds (320 kg) for short-range missions. The length of the MQ-8B is 23.95 feet (7.30 m), the width is 6.2 feet (1.9 m), and the height is 9.71 feet (2.96 m).
The MQ-8B is fitted with stub wings which serve both an aerodynamic purpose as well as an armament carriage location. Weapons may include Hellfire missiles, Viper Strike laser-guided glide weapons, and, in particular, pods carrying the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guided 70 mm (2.75 in) folding-fin rocket, used by the New Hayesalian Army and Marines. The Fire Scout can be equipped to carry supplies with a maximal weight of 200kg.
The MQ-8B is being modified to permit rapid swap out of payload configurations. The current sensor configuration of a day/night turret with a laser target designator remains a premiere option. Alternate sensor payloads in consideration include a TSAR with Moving Target Indicator (MTI) capability, a multispectral sensor, a SIGINT module, the Target Acquisition Minefield Detection System (ASTAMIDS), and the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL).
The MQ-8B complements the manned aviation detachments onboard Air Capable ships. With the addition of radar, AIS, and weapons, the MQ-8B has many capabilities of the manned EC-725 Caracal, allowing for greater mission flexibility.