US Navy demonstrates new MCM prototype technology on MQ-8C UAS
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) has participated in a new demonstration of mine countermeasure prototype (MCM) technology.
It was held at the Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida in May this year.
This demonstration aimed to provide a new ability for combatants to quickly detect and respond to various threats.
The test also helped collect UAS MQ-8C performance data and a single-system multi-mission airborne mine detection system (SMAMD) to support future MCM integration efforts.
Fire Scout Captain Thomas Lansley said: “The team successfully demonstrated that the SMAMD system prototype works effectively as it is designed aboard the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter in environments. relevant to the real world “.
Operations were conducted from the U.S. Naval Surface War Center (NSWC).
During the operations, the team used drifting mines, tied and moored throughout the beach area and deep water, to collect data day and night, in different weather conditions and at all depths of the water.
The test validated the high performance of the MQ-8C Fire Scout, as it easily handled the dual-sheath system. It was the first and heaviest MCM capability to carry a UQ MQ-8C.
Developed by BAE Systems, SMAMD technology is part of a Future Naval Capability (FNC) program, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The SMAMD system is a suite of airborne optical sensors, capable of detecting and locating mines and obstacles on land and at sea, in a single pass.
This technology provides a low rate of false alarms and real-time detection, which is shared via a data link.
MQ-8C Fire Scout equipped with a new mine countermeasure prototype (MCM) technology collects performance data. Credit: US Navy / Naval Air Systems Command.