Naval Air: March 28, 2001


The US Navy expects to have its first dozen Fire Scout vertical-take-off unmanned aerial vehicles in production by 2003, and is seeking funds for another 33 so that every CG47 aegis cruiser, DDG51 aegis destroyer, and DDG21 land-attack destroyer can have them when it deploys. The drone will be modular and could carry several payloads. The Navy now plans to develop a new signals intelligence payload for Fire Scout to supplement its baseline electro-optical sensors.--Stephen V Cole


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