Armed Fire Scout Drones Could Be a Game Changer for the Navy
While the U.S. Navy has not funded any specific efforts to arm or upgrade its MQ-8C Fire Scout drone, a previous service analysis of the platform suggests that it’s a possibility.
“We did complete a study, and our analysis showed we have a technical way forward to add weapons to the platform. At the moment, there are no funded efforts to do this,” said Capt. Eric Soderberg, the MQ-8 Fire Scout program manager.
After many years of testing and development, the Navy’s MQ-8C is now deployed on the USS Milwaukee Littoral Combat Ship in the region of U.S. Southern Command, marking a milestone for the helicopter-like unmanned reconnaissance platform.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout, a larger, upgraded variant of the existing MQ-8B Fire Scout Unmanned Vehicle, now flies from Littoral Combat Ships. The “C” variant is based on the Bell 407 commercial utility helicopter, but it operates high-fidelity maritime sensors intended to hunt mines, search for enemy surface ships, and send ships…