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US Drone Completes Sea-based Test Flight
Dec 31, 2014

The US Navy successfully flew its new unmanned helicopter MQ-8C Fire Scout system for the first time from the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham off the Virginia coast recently. After more than a year of land-based testing, the MQ-8C Fire Scout grew its sea legs, making 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings as Navy pilots controlled the helicopter from the ship's ground control station.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout's flights from the USS Dunham represent a significant Navy milestone. This is the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer.

The US Navy conducted the tests to assess how well the drone could land on a ship moving at varying speeds and to measure its capabilities in different wind conditions.The extended capabilities will offer the USNavy a dynamic, multipurpose unmanned helicopter with increased endurance.

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