USS Coronado (LCS 4) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 completed the first comprehensive Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, June 29.
Results from this IOT&E will inform decision-makers on how best to integrate the Navy’s newest unmanned helicopter with littoral combat ships (LCS) and other platforms.
During the IOT&E, the MQ-8C Fire Scout performed several mission scenarios aboard Coronado off the coast of Southern California. These operations are an important milestone for the LCS and Fire Scout programs, and demonstrated cohesion between the surface and aviation platforms.
The first ship-based flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout occurred aboard USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) in December 2014, and previous underway testing was also conducted with USS Montgomery (LCS 8) in April 2017.
Pierside testing of the MQ-8C Fire Scout will continue onboard Coronado throughout mid-July with a focus on maintenance and cyber. Coronado is one of four designated LCS testing ships homeported in San Diego.