Naval Air: September 20, 2001


The Navy and Northrop Grumman are moving ahead toward development of the RQ-8A Fire Scout, a robot helicopter designed to provide smaller warships with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Two development aircraft are to be ready by the end of this year, ready for intensive testing in the first half of next year. A complete unit of three aircraft is to be delivered to the Navy next summer; these will be used aboard amphibious ships to support Marines. Australia, Japan, and Britain have shown interest in acquiring the aircraft or developing similar technology. --Stephen V Cole


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