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Thursday, May 2, 2013

U.S. Navy's First Unmanned Aircraft Squadron

By Woodrow Bellamy III

The U.S. Navy on Thursday launched its first squadron to feature manned and unmanned aircraft at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado, near San Diego.  
 
 
(Fire Scout MQ-8B. Photo, courtesy of NAVAIR.)
 
The squadron has been dubbed the "Magicians" and will feature an undetermined number of Fire Scout MQ-8 B, Northrop Grumman's unmanned helicopter designed to provide situational awareness and precision targeting support. The "Magicians" is the navy's first composite squadron, and also features the MH-60R, Sikorsky's manned anti-submarine helicopter. 
 
Northrop Grumman's role in the squadron has not yet been determined, though the company does expect continue its current program of support to the deployed detachments of MQ-8B aircraft. 
 

The new squadron is scheduled to be fully operational on the Navy's new littoral combat ship by next year.  

Related: Military Avionics 

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