Catch us live on BlogTalkRadio every

Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm P.S.T.

Friday, April 27, 2012

CANorthrop Grumman awarded helicopter drone contract -

Northrop Grumman awarded helicopter drone contract worth up to $262.3M

Northrop Grumman awarded helicopter drone contract worth up to $262.3M.....
Northrop Grumman Fire-X photographed at Yuma, Ariz., proving ground Feb. 23.
Photo by Chad Slattery
The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. a contract worth up to $262.3 million to make a new model of its Fire Scout helicopter drones.
The company's Rancho Bernardo location will hire about 100 mostly "highly skilled engineers" as a result of the contract, said Warren Comer, a Northrop Grumman spokesman.
Those interested can find details at the company's website,, he said. The contract was announced Monday.
The Navy calls the drones the MQ-8 Fire Scout series. These are full-size helicopters built on the frame of manned helicopters, providing reconnaissance and targeting assistance. They include a laser rangefinder and infrared sensors.
Eventually, the Fire Scouts will be equipped with various weapons, including missiles. The date for that hasn't been specified.
The new model will be the MQ-8c Fire Scout.
Northrop Grumman is to make two of the drones for testing purposes and to produce six of them for "low-rate initial production" of operational aircraft, Comer said.
"The MQ-8c uses a Bell-407 helicopter, which provides greater endurance and range over the MQ-8b," Comer said.
That version uses a Schweizer 333 light helicopter.
The work will be performed in three locations, mostly in Moss Point, Miss. and San Diego, and some in Yuma, Ariz. The contract lasts until May, 2014.
The Navy has previously announced it will buy 28 of the new drones, which leaves 20 more of the helicopter drones to be ordered.