evac and rescue operations; it is
extendable via reconfigurable side rails
to support a number of other mounts
“Heaven’s on Fire?”
The Northrop Grumman Fire Scout appears with four-blade rotors,
weapons mounts, and sensor module.
given the acronym) equipment and
supply payloads sufficient for two
squads of infantry men and women. It
can carry up to 2,400 lbs of rucksacks
and equipment for foot soldiers
and follow those soldiers into the most
The MULE can also transport
The American Dynamics BattleHog lift and control system. Each wing, left
UAV on display at the 2006 AUVSI with and right, houses fuel tanks and service
nose, wings, wheels and landing gear, access for maintenance.
sensors (black), and special high torque The main housing holds the center
aerial lift for flight enclosed in the fuel tank. Each wing has a payload
center of the vehicle. pylon for rocket launchers. Ruggedized
The BattleHog100x has a Turbine avionics, front and center, help fly
Powerplant in the rear center of the the plane. A modular mission payload
main trunk or shaft of the vehicle. bay forward from that house the
Forward from that is the HTAL vertical sensing module.
The Fire Scout UAV from Northrop
Grumman is an unmanned intelligence
and targeting helicopter with missile
Payloads include an EO/IR/LD
(electro-optical/infrared/laser designator) BRITE Star II sensing, a UHF/VHF
radio communications relay, a COBRA
mine detector, and an airborne communications package. The BRITE Star II
system — which offers optics, infrared,
and laser rangefinder sensing — comes
with the basic model Fire Scout.
The flying ‘heli-robot’ can be
launched and flown up to 110 nautical
miles from the launch site. The UAV is
controlled by tactical control system
(TCS) software from land or sea-going
vessels. The Fire Scout can remain
airborne for eight-hour missions. The
UAV is equipped with a four-blade
rotor system and state-of-the-art airfoil
blades, which help it to achieve its
The UAV is the first airborne robot
to land vertically on a sea-borne vessel
without a human pilot onboard.
The UAV can also use its Vertical
Take Off and Landing Tactical
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV)
technology to help extend communications range and capabilities. It does
this in tandem with ground control
stations, other air vehicles, data links,
remote data terminals, and tactical
communications hardware, according
to a source from Northrop Grumman.
Basically, it helps create a communications relay between these systems and
the robotic air vehicles using them in a
way not dissimilar to nodes that extend
the signal on a wireless network.
A VTUAV system will consist of
air vehicles, ground control stations
(GCSs), modular mission payloads
(MMPs), data links, remote data
terminals (RDTs), launch and recovery
equipment, and tactical communications equipment.
12 SERVO 09.2007