The US Navy, together with Northrop Grumman, has successfully completed a series of test-flights for the MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical unmanned aerial system (VUAS) in the UAE.

During the desert test-flights, the Fire Scout successfully demonstrated its autonomous flying capability in remote locations as well as the ability to acquire targets using its electro-optical/infrared sensing capabilities.

The field trials also demonstrated the VUAS ability to gather and transmit high fidelity video imagery for its future intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition missions.

Northrop-led industry team includes Sikorsky/Schweizer Aircraft, Rolls-Royce, Raytheon, FLIR Systems, Rockwell-Collins, General Electric, and L-3 Communications.

The Fire Scout is scheduled to be operated onboard the frigate USS Halyburton by the end of 2010.