MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV first shipboard flight

Watch the above video for a look at the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter operating from the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) during its first shipboard flight Dec. 16 , 2014 off the coast of Virginia. The new, larger Fire Scout conducted a series of flight events during the five-day underway period to prepare for operational test in 2015.  The MQ-8C Fire Scout is an upgrade to the existing “B” variant, which first deployed in 2009.  With its larger airframe, the “C” can fly nearly twice as long and carry three times more payload than its predecessor.  Read the full story at NAVAIR News

Per Wikipedia, the MQ-8C is developed by Northrop Grumman for use by the United States Navy. The MQ-8C is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces. The MQ-8C airframe is based on the Bell 407, while the avionics and other systems are developed from those used on the MQ-8B Fire Scout. It first flew in October 2013 in testing and is scheduled to start production in March 2016.

Fire Scout

Image: U.S. Navy

From the Naval Air Systems Command fact sheet as of March 2016:
MQ-8C Fire Scout
Overall Length: 34.7 ft
Weight: zero fuel weight – 3,200 lbs; std day fuel and payload – 6,000 lbs
Max Speed: 135 kts
Cruise Speed: 115 kts
Service Ceiling: 16,000 ft
Std. Day Max Endurance (w/300 lb payload): 12 hrs
Contractor: Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems

Compare the MQ-8B to MQ-8C

MQ-8B vs MQ-8C
By United States Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons