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New radar enhances MQ-8B Fire Scout capabilities

Northrop Grumman has enhanced the U.S. Navy's Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.
By Richard Tomkins   |   June 23, 2014 at 7:45 AM   |   Comments

SAN DIEGO, June 22 (UPI) -- A new multi-mode radar that will enhance the capabilities of the MQ-8B unmanned helicopter has been demonstrated by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy.

The system is a Telephonics Corporation AN/ZPY-4 maritime surveillance radar for manned aircraft modified for use on the MQ-8B Fire Scout to significantly enhance its long-range search and imagery.

"Fire Scout is pushing the limits of unmanned helicopters by continuing to add enhanced capabilities to its already advanced payload," said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This modernized radar complements Fire Scout's other sensors and systems to provide the Navy with increased visibility far beyond the horizon, while collecting vital imaging for maritime operations."

Northrop said the system will be paired with the Fire Scout's current electro-optical infrared payload and will enable operational capabilities in all tactical environments.

Additional details of the system, however, were not elaborated upon.

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