The U.S. Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles will receive a new radar and datalink to set the UAV up as a forward spotter for the Navy’s surface fleet.
The Northrop Grumman-built UAV is set to be upgraded with a Leonardo Osprey 30 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and the Link 16 datalink, the combination of which will allow the UAV to distribute air-to-air and surface targeting information to ships in a surface action group.
As part of the Navy’s notional distributed maritime operations concept, Fire Scout being resident on a future frigate or Littoral Combat Ship could route targeting information from its AESA radars at ranges much further than the sensors on a surface ship but still within the range of weapons that could reach a surface target.
The Fire Scout will also be integrated with the Johns Hopkins-developed Minotaur Track Management and Mission Management system that combines information from several different sets of sensors to create a unified target picture for a battle group.
The platform is currently operating on the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships and will be a key component of the upcoming next-generation frigate program (FFG(X)), according to the U.S.Navy in its submissions to industry on the requirements of the new ship.
The service has so far bought 30 MQ-8Cs for the LCS program,
"There is always a reason to smile, you just have to find it." Good reminder for me today as I am feeling under the weather. Not everyday is mountain tops, good skiing and brilliantly awesome. Some days you get a stomach bug, bad news, feel sad and that's okay...it is part of being fully human and life. Appreciate the awesome days and keep the perspective that the rough ones will pass. Have a good one 😊. #ski#skitouring#backcountryskiing#skimo#skimountaineering#alpineclubofcanada#osprey#julbousa
Top Shot: Take and Shake | Photograph by Steve Ellwood
“After diving into the water, an Osprey always give a good shake or two to get the water out of their feathers,” writes #YourShotPhotographer Steve Ellwood. “This bird had a successful dive and was off to enjoy a meal.” This image was selected for the December 7, 2017 Daily Dozen by Your Shot producer Matt Adams (@themattadams).
Top Shot features the photo with the most votes from the previous day’s Daily Dozen, 12 photos chosen by the Your Shot editors from thousands of recent uploads. Our community votes for their favorite photo from the selection, and the Top Shot is showcased on the @natgeoyourshot Instagram account. Go the link in our profile to see more editor’s favorites.