Defense

May 16, 2014

Navy conducts initial Fire Scout, H-60 helo demonstration aboard LCS

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training off the coast of Southern California. The training marked the first time a littoral combat ship, an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and an SH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conducted integrated VBSS training.

 
Sailors aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1) demonstrated the future concept of operations (CONOPS) for manned and unmanned helicopters aboard littoral combat ships during an underway off the coast of San Diego April 25-May 16, in preparation for an initial deployment of the aircraft later this year.

U.S. 3rd Fleet and Commander, Carrier Strike Group 15, formerly known as Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific, coordinated the demonstration aboard Freedom with both the manned, multi-mission MH-60R Seahawk and the MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical take-off unmanned aerial vehicle, operating together.

“This assessment marks yet another MQ-8 system success in demonstrating effective unmanned aviation integration at sea,” said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. “The effective blending of manned and unmanned aviation capabilities on LCS is key to providing our Navy the affordable warfighting capabilities they need to be where it matters, when it matters.”

The demonstration included one MH-60R and one MQ-8B both flown by Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 1, aboard Freedom with a surface warfare (SUW) mission package installed. SUW provides fleet protection from small boats and other asymmetrical threats. The event informed the fleet on the status of the “system of systems” integration for the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) deployment this fall.

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training off the coast of Southern California. The training marked the first time a littoral combat ship, an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and an SH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conducted integrated VBSS training.

HSM-35, the Navy’s first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, became the first squadron to support LCS with both the MH-60R and MQ-8B Fire Scout. The squadron evaluated operating concepts and procedures to determine the adequacy of the composite aviation detachment manning structure of 24 people.

“The men and women of the ‘World Famous Magicians’ of HSM-35 could not have been more excited to operate the Navy’s newest aviation assets (MH-60R and MQ-8B) from the Navy’s newest class of ship,” said Cmdr. Christopher Hewlett, HSM-35 Commanding Officer. “My Sailors from HSM-35 Detachment 1 working with the Freedom team demonstrated that composite aviation operations will remain a robust and integrated capability for the future of the littoral combat ship’s missions.”

As the next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the MH-60R is the cornerstone of the Navy’s Helicopter Concept of Operations and the Fire Scout system provides unique situation awareness and precision target support for the Navy.

“Freedom has always been envisioned to have a combined detachment of MH-60R and Fire Scout air capability,” said Cmdr. Rich Jarrett, Commanding Officer of LCS Crew 102 aboard Freedom. “We have the mission systems onboard, whether it’s surface warfare, ground control stations, or any of the components that allow us to operate both the unmanned vehicles and manned aviation systems.”

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) conducts visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training off the coast of Southern California. The training marked the first time a littoral combat ship, an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and an SH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conducted integrated VBSS training.

Among the missions used in the demonstration was a combined use of two 11-meter RHIBs (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat), the MQ-8B and the MH-60R to board a vessel at sea. Jarrett added that LCS-class ships were designed to operate a host of manned and unmanned vehicles, to bring a better picture of a given situation to improve coordination of all mission assets.

“This exercise really demonstrated the use of all our off-board vehicles together,” he said. “They support one another and provide us greater mission capability and visibility to monitor an ongoing mission that is taking place outside the ship via video surveillance, electronic sensors, or as a communication link. At one point we had our boarding team on the boarding vessel communicating via radio through the Fire Scout.”

LCS is expected to routinely deploy with one Fire Scout in addition to an H-60 as part of its surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures mission packages. The Fire Scout will complement the H-60 by extending the range and endurance of ship-based intelligence gathering operations.

“The future in any kind of warfare, I think, is unmanned vehicles and unmanned systems,” he said. “This is just one example of where we are heading, both in the Navy and LCS in particular, by extending our reach by operating robots and unmanned systems where typically we wouldn’t be able to get a ship.”
 

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 conducts visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training with rigid-hull inflatable boats from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) off the coast of Southern California. The training marked the first time a littoral combat ship, an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and an SH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conducted integrated VBSS training.




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


 
 

 

Headlines October 20, 2014

News: Navy grounds ‘Top Guns’ - The F/A-18s needs spare parts and in too many cases they’re being taken from brand new jets. This is a risk to national security and pilots’ lives.   Business: Boeing seeks revised schedule for U.S. aerial tanker - Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs October 20, 2014

New military medical team to help with Ebola in U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 

 
Boeing photographs

Boeing-built X-37B successfully completes third flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission   Boeing photograph A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg...
 
 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 




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>