Navy Conducts First Fire Scout, MH-60R Helicopter Demo Aboard LCS

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An MQ-8B Fire Scout prepares to land on USS Freedom (LCS 1)

The crew of USS Freedom (LCS 1) demonstrated the future concept of operations for manned and unmanned helicopters underway on littoral combat ships (LCS) April 25-May 16 off the coast of San Diego. The exercise was done in preparation for deployment of the aircraft later this year.

U.S. 3rd Fleet and Carrier Strike Group 15 coordinated the demonstration aboard Freedom with both the manned, multi-mission MH-60R Seahawk, and the unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-8B Fire Scout operating together.

Both air assets were flown by Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 1, aboard Freedom with a surface warfare (SUW) mission package installed. SUW provides fleet protection from small boats and other asymmetrical threats. The event informed the fleet on the status of the « system of systems » integration for the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) deployment this fall.

HSM-35, the Navy’s first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, became the first squadron…

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