The Northrop Grumman-built MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV) has successfully completed its first test flights from US Navy littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1).

The dynamic interface (DI) testing conducted by the US Navy off the coast of southern California verified the integration of the system on the ship and enhancements required to improve the system.

The tests included a series of shipboard take-offs and landings at various wind directions and ship speeds for the validation and installation of the system for future operations.

Fire Scout has been developed as a key intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset in LCS mission packages for mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare.

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Northrop is the prime contractor for the US Navy Fire Scout and LCS mission packages.