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Tue, May 20, 2003

Second Fire Scout Delivered

Seaborne Tests Imminent

The U.S. Navy has moved one step closer to operational capability for its RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical
takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the on-time delivery of the second production unit by Northrop Grumman.

The company's Integrated Systems sector delivered the air vehicle April 14 to the Navy's Webster Field UAV test facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River (MD).

"Delivering the second Fire Scout production vehicle is an important and necessary step on the path to demonstrating the system's distinctive technical capabilities, such as landing aboard a ship," said Scott Winship, Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout program manager.

The Fire Scout production vehicles are integrated and tested at Integrated Systems' Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego (CA). The second vehicle was rolled out April 4.

The Navy and Northrop Grumman began the Fire Scout's so-far flawless flight test program in May of last year. To date, the development team has conducted 40 consecutive successful flight tests. The team is currently making preparations to begin land-based takeoff and recovery flight-testing with the UAV Common Automatic Recovery System and Tactical Control System in early summer. This testing is a precursor to shipboard testing later this summer on the USS Denver Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD-9) off the coast of San Diego.



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