The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a $10.4 million contract modification to produce one additional Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, using 2017 funds. The larger of the two Fire Scout models, the MQ-8C is a Bell model 407 helicopter modified to operate autonomously. One third of the work will be performed in San Diego.
The Naval Air Systems Command of Patuxent River, Md. awarded the deal, announced Oct. 28.
The order follows an order of 10 MQ-8C Fire Scouts worth $108 million in September.
The Navy plans to fly the larger Fire Scout off of its smaller ships — frigates and littoral combat ships — using it for reconnaissance, situational awareness and targeting. The aircraft has a range of 150 nautical miles and can stay in the air for up to 12 hours, according to the command.