Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical take-off unmanned aerial vehicle has successfully completed at-sea deployment for the US Navy.

During the second at-sea deployment, two Fire Scout air vehicles, deployed aboard the USS Halyburton (FFG 40) vessel, provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support for anti-piracy operations conducted by the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems vice-president for tactical unmanned systems, George Vardoulakis, said, “This deployment was the first opportunity since deploying on the USS McInerney (FFG 8) for the navy to fully use the Fire Scout operationally.

“The system was involved in three different anti-piracy actions, participated in operations over Libya, and supported a Strait of Hormuz transit with the ship’s SH-60B helicopter – a valuable manned and unmanned aircraft operation that allows ship commanders to extend their awareness at greater distances from the ship,” he added.

The Fire Scout air vehicle features a modular architecture and is used for supporting littoral missions.