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Fire Scout Weathers Tests. With the support of the Navy, Northrop Grumman and its industry partners complete a rigorous set of flight demonstrations of the MQ-8B Fire Scout VUAS in the UAE under extreme environmental conditions, the company says. The test flights, conducted in early July over a 10-day period, validated Fire Scout’s steady system maturation and helped signal its readiness for the Navy’s upcoming Operational Evaluation of the system, planned for late 2010 aboard the USS Halyburton (FFG-40), Northrop Grumman adds. The demonstrations included numerous takeoffs and landings in hot, windy and sandy conditions in temperatures as high as 117 degrees Fahrenheit. The VUAS also conducted various test flights at altitudes up to 9,842 feet, the company reports. These demonstration missions included non-line-of-sight operations that showcased Fire Scout’s ability to operate autonomously in remote locations, and its FLIR Systems electro-optical/infrared sensing capabilities used to locate and acquire targets, Northrop Grumman says.