Navy Launches Its First Drone Squadron | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Navy Launches Its First Drone Squadron

The U.S. Navy is inaugurating its first squadron that mixes advanced unmanned drones with conventional aircraft.

The maritime strike squadron, nicknamed the "Magicians," will be officially launched at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado, near San Diego.

Along with eight manned helicopters, the squadron will include a number of unmanned helicopter drones, known as MQ-8B Fire Scouts, that can track targets at sea or on land. The Air Force already has several drone squadrons.

The Fire Scout, built by Northrop Grumman, "has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to the soldier in contact," according to company literature.

Northrop Grumman says the unmanned aerial vehicle can operate continuously for up to eight hours while providing coverage in a 125-mile radius of the launch site.

The Associated Press quotes U.S. Navy Lt. Aaron Kakiel as saying the squadron will be deployed aboard the Navy's new littoral combat ship in about a year.

The squadron's creation comes 100 years after the formation of the first Navy air detachment, Kakiel says.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Marvel's New Hero Wants To Save The World — And The Citrus Industry

Captain Citrus was sponsored by Florida's orange growers, whose profits are being hurt by disease and declining consumer demand for orange juice. They hope the comic character will boost sales.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.