Defense

April 5, 2013

Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, USS Robert G. Bradley set deployment record

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter prepares to land aboard USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) after a routine mission in March. The Fire Scout is supporting the frigate’s Mediterranean deployment and recently surpassed its 600th deployed flight hour. The unmanned helicopter exceeded a total of 6,000 flight hours earlier in March.

The U.S. Navy’s MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter surpassed another milestone in March when the MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter completed its 600th deployed flight hour while embarked on USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49).

The unmanned helicopter, part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, logged its 600th deployed flight hour March 31. This record exceeds the previous Fire Scout deployment milestone by 100 hours and will likely climb higher with nearly two months remaining on the frigate’s Mediterranean deployment.

This is the fifth sea-based deployment for the MQ-8B. Fire Scout routinely flies 17 hours per day, while providing a 12-hour real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) orbit to combatant commanders.

Robert G. Bradley received communication upgrades allowing the aircraft’s Full Motion Video (FMV) camera feed to be distributed to the ship’s Combat Information Center (CIC) and to commanders at military installations throughout the world.

“The teams of [Robert G. Bradley] and HSC-22 have taken Fire Scout and maritime ISR to a new level,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. “They tackled multiple sparing, integration and operational issues. Their perseverance demonstrated the significance of maritime based ISR. Fire Scout continues to be in great demand and is answering the call globally via our shipboard deployments.”

Smith said the team will continue to take lessons learned and provide improvements to future deployments.

“The U.S Navy brings a unique capability to the ISR customer,” said Cmdr. Pete Ehlers, Robert G. Bradley commanding officer. “Fire Scout is a proven technology with greater multi-payload and mission capability than smaller UAVs the Navy operates. We are able to access many areas of interest without adding an undesirable U.S footprint on land.”

Since 2006, the Northrop Grumman-built Fire Scout system has flown more than 8,000 flight hours – with more than half of the flight hours performing real-world operational tasking during ship-based and land-based deployments within the past 18 months.

This deployment also marks the first time that an HSC squadron has deployed with the Fire Scout. Previous deployments have all been conducted by the Helicopter Maritime Strike community.

“I’m extremely proud of our aircraft maintainers and aircrew”, said Lt. Cmdr. Brett Meskimen, HSC-22 officer in charge. “Our active and Reserve Sailors took the lessons from the previous deployments and ran with them. They have set the new standard for future detachments from both communities. We still have a long way to the end of deployment, but it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the hard work and accomplishments of the whole team as they support the needs of the warfare commanders.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 

AF Test Pilot School applications due in June

The 2015 Air Force Test Pilot School selection board will convene July 20-24 to consider candidates for July 2016 and January 2017 classes. Applications are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by June 5. The board will select applicants for fighter, multi-engine aircraft, helicopter and remotely piloted aircraft pilot, combat systems officers – to...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Stephen G. Eigel

Last MC-130P Combat Shadows in the Pacific retire

Air Force photograph by A1C Stephen G. Eigel An MC-130P Combat Shadow awaits its final checks on Kadena Air Base, Japan, before departing for the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 15, 2015. The 17th S...
 
 
F22-hero1

F-22 test squadron recognizes decorated squadron member, Vietnam hero

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara William Freckleton, 412th Range Squadron lead F-22 range control officer, poses before his F-16D incentive flight April 21. Freckleton is the only decorated Vietnam veteran at the 411th Flight...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

AFRL redesigns mock UAV, ‘Surrogate Predator’

Courtesy photograph An enhanced Surrogate Predator 3 is prepared for takeoff. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors were added to the Cessna 182 so it can mimic a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. Air Force Rese...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>