USS Coronado (LCS 4) began underway operational testing of the Navy’s newest unmanned helicopter, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, off the coast of San Diego, June 15.
The operations are a continuation of MQ-8C operational testing that began in April. This next phase is testing the MQ-8C’s ability to operate concurrently with other airborne assets and littoral combat ships. The enhanced capability will provide commanders an improved and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance picture.
Coronado is one of four designated LCS testing ships and the ship’s commanding officer says he and his crew are excited to help further advance Navy lethality.
“It is a great privilege to advance the Navy’s ability to conduct unmanned aerial vehicle operations,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Repass, the ship’s commanding officer.
Fire Scout operations are a whole-ship effort, requiring effective coordination between the aviation and surface entities aboard.
“Whether it is ensuring that the data links required are functional, fire team personnel are standing by to respond, or managing the airspace and contact pictures; every single Sailor plays a role in Fire Scout operations,” said Lt. Josh Riley, the ship’s combat systems officer. “These Sailors and this testing will help shape how the surface force will utilize the strengths and advantages that this valuable asset brings to the table in the coming years.”
During Coronado’s 2016-2017 deployment to the Western Pacific, the ship successfully used MQ-8B Fire Scout as an organic sensor to strike a target beyond visual range using a Harpoon surface-to-surface missile.
With that recent success fresh in their minds, LCS Sailors are excited for future employment of the MQ-8C Fire Scout, saying that the newer technology has increased speed, a higher ceiling, over twice the fuel endurance, and an improved payload capacity.
“Operating with the MQ-8C Fire Scout offers unique challenges, but it is the perfect partner to an LCS,” said Lt. j.g. Alex Giltz, Coronado’s auxiliaries officer and one of the few shipboard officers who has operated with both versions of the Fire Scout.
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants.
- Vertical Flight Society to Highlight eVTOL Revolution at Heli-Expo 2019
- Upgrades to Inverness hospital life-Saving Helipad
- Portugal’s Air Force takes delivery of first two AW119Kx
- USCG starts MH-65E Initial Operational Test And Evaluation
- Honeywell to launch eVTOL hybrid-electric propulsion system at Heli-Expo 2019
- Advanced Turbine Engine Company Files Protest For ITEP
- Nominations Open for the International Aerial Firefighting Awards 2019
- Heligo receives its first H145
- DRF releases 2018 operating statistics
- IBAC Welcomes New IS-BAO Operations Manager
- HAL takes leading role in organising Aero India 2019
- Russian Helicopters identified potential partners in localization of Ka-226T in India
- DRF Luftrettung – “Use of unmanned aerial vehicles in emergency medicine”
- Genesys HeliSAS stability augmentation system now certified for IFR
- Ace Aeronautics sells three UH-60s to Austrian military
- DRF Luftrettung and Lufthansa Aviation Training cooperate
- Russian Helicopters to take part in Aero India 2019
- Canada donates surplus Coast Guard Bo105 to BCIT
- Major PHI shareholder issues Open Letter to Management
- Jämtlandsflyg to seize operations