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MQ-8 Fire Scout

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A rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle, the MQ-8 Fire Scout provides surveillance, targeting, communications relay and unmanned logistics delivery for the Future Combat Systems of the U.S. Army, as well as deployment into the Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron (Brigade Combat Team).[1]

Class IV UAV
It will also be deployed on U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships; three MQ-8's fit into the same space as a MH-60 manned helicopter.

It uses a COTS airframe that can stay airborne for over 7 hours, and a variety of modular mission packages. The Class IV UAV system, under the restructuring of the United States Army, consists of four Fire Scouts and the associated ground equipment. Without human control, it can use unimproved landing zones near Corps, Division and Brigade Command Posts and Tactical Operations Centers.

Routinely, it carries electro-optical sensors for the visible light and infrared spectra, and a combined laser rangefinder and laser designator.

Modular mission packages

General information

  • Length Folded: 22.87 ft (7.0 m) [1]
  • Rotor Diameter: 27.50 ft (8.4 m)
  • Height: 9.42 ft (2.9 m)
  • Gross Weight: 3,150 lbs (1428.8 kg)
  • Engine: Rolls-Royce Model 250-C20W
  • Speed: 125+ Knots
  • Ceiling: 20,000 ft (6.1 km)


  1. 1.0 1.1 MQ-8B Army Fire Scout, Northrop Grumman
  2. Field Manual 3-36, Electronic Warfare in Operations, U.S. Army, February 2009,p. E-13