An enhanced version of the FireScout Vertical Takeoff UAV (VTUAV)
completed an initial series of flight testing conducted by the
U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman.
The new model offers a significant capability increase over
the first generation RQ-8A Fire Scout. It has a four blade rotor,
and other enhancements giving the aircraft longer endurance
(over eight hours) greater payload carrying capacity of up to
600 pounds (272 kg).
With additional fuel capacity, the MQ-8B can stay on station
for six hours at 110 miles (176 km) from launch site. The Navy
plans to use Fire Scout on board the Littoral
Combat Ship, where sailors will operate both manned and
unmanned helicopters to support operational requirements.