Fire Scout ‘decoupled’ from LCS

LCS Delays Place Fire Scout on Alternate Ship

MO pointed out this possibility a week ago, and here it is:

The U.S. Navy has officially decoupled the Fire Scout vertical-lift UAV from the Littoral Combat Ship program because delays to LCS threaten to slow development and testing of the air vehicle, the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman jointly announced at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 20.

Fire Scout will now be integrated to another helicopter-carrying naval vessel, most likely a FFG-7 frigate, said Navy Capt. Tim Dunigan, VTUAV program manager at the Naval Air Systems Command, adding that other potential platforms include DDG-51 destroyers and LPD amphibious transport dock ships.

RQ-8A Fire Scout during autonomous landing and take-off tests with the amphibious transport dock ship USS Nashville (LPD 13) in 2006.

I think the Fire Scout holds a lot of promise in a number of roles.