US Navy reveals MQ-8C Fire Scout drone

MQ-8C Fire Scout drone

The MQ-8C Fire Scout drone was designed by the US Navy to fly twice as long and has three times the payload capacity of the current model in the military arsenal.

During its first flight, the MQ-8C Fire Scout flew for seven minutes in restricted airspace at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, Calif. Then, he did its second flight, lasting 9 minutes and reaching 500 feet altitude.

The tests were made to validate the autonomous control systems.

The Navy plans on purchasing 145 Fire Scouts, which cost around $15.3 million per aircraft.

Initial operating capability for the upgraded MQ-8C Fire Scout is planned for 2016, with a potential for early deployment in 2014, the Navy said.

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