Northrop Grumman's RQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned rotorcraft is to have a new weapon system integrated on to it and be developed with a four-bladed rotor system to meet future US Army requirements.

The service's plans to integrate the 20kg (44lb) Viper Strike precision munition on to the vehicle are reported in this week's issue of Flight International. Viper Strike is based on the Brilliant Anti-Tank submunition but has a smaller warhead and improved targeting capability to help reduce the risk of collateral damage during urban operations.


Proof of principle demonstration firings will take place later this year.

Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman is pressing ahead with the new four-bladed variant under an eight-year, $115 million contract awarded last month as part of the army's Future Combat Systems programme. The US Navy is looking at converting its order for the three-bladed RQ-8A version to the army configuration.

Source: Flight Daily News