The US Navy tested the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter drone during sea trials, with 32 successful takeoffs and landings earlier this week. A heavily modified Bell 407 utility helicopter can be controlled by command teams on military ships or ground-based teams.
"The MQ-8C Fire Scout's fist flight from the USS Dunham represents a significant Navy milestone," said Capt. Jeff Dodge, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Fire Scout program manager, in a press statement. "This is the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C, and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer."
The Navy and Northrop Grumman will continue to conduct tests to see how the helicopter drone operates in varying weather and wind conditions.