The U.S. Navy’s unmanned helicopter, MQ-8B Fire Scout, celebrated 10 years of flight on December 18, during a ceremony at Webster Field Annex, Maryland.
The helicopter flew 15,000 hours during test and real-world operations since its first flight ten years ago.
Fire Scout’s next variant, the MQ-8C was introduced by the navy in 2012. The smaller MQ-8B has deployed on multiple frigates and is currently deployed on the littoral combat ship USS Coronado.
MQ-8B has also deployed to Afghanistan to support counter- improvised explosive device (IED) operations.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout is the Navy’s next generation unmanned helicopter. The larger Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407.