IHS Jane’s reported that Northrop Grumman will develop and integrate the new Multi Capability Pod (MCAP) onto the MQ-8C as part of a $10.8 million contract. The MCAP will provide the MQ-8C with “multiple electronic warfare sensors for employment in the littorals”, a DoD listing stated.
The US Navy will get 28 MQ-8Cs in addition to the 168 MQ-8Bs it will use in a variety of applications, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and other unmanned strike missions.
With a range of roughly 150 nautical miles and a payload capacity of over 317 kg (698 lbs), the MQ-8C Fire Scout is more powerful than the MQ-8B, IHS Jane’s said.
Northrop Grumman is expected to have work completed on the new contract by June 2015.