PARIS, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has ordered Leonardo-Finmeccanica's Osprey AESA radar for its newly-upgraded MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.
Under a contract issued by the Naval Air Systems Command, the company is to deliver five of the units for testing and evaluation.
The contract contains an option to buy a larger quantity of the radars for use in real operations.
According to Leonardo-Finmeccanica, its primary task under this contract is integration with the MQ-8C Fire Scout in time for first production deliveries.
The Osprey radar uses electronic beam technology to scan from high in the sky to detect threats beyond the range of standard ship-based sensors in all environmental conditions, when visibility is extremely poor. It features flat-panel technology for installation within the mould line of the helicopter rather than having to use an underslung belly-pod.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout autonomous unmanned helicopter is to be integrated with U.S. Navy littoral combat ships.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica said the U.S. Navy is to be provided with the two-panel version of the Osprey radar, which will provide a 240-degree instantaneous field of view and a range of digital modes including weather detection, air-to-air targeting
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced the contract award at a naval exhibition in France.