Just weeks after the Navy grounded its favorite fleet of unmanned spy copters, the admirals announced that they’re spending another quarter-billion dollars to buy even more of the drones.
Manufacturer Northrop Grumman will get $262,336,248 to provide the Navy with six MQ-8B Fire Scout copters and test two more. The single-sourced contract comes two weeks after the Navy put the drone helos on an indefinite timeout after discovering what it described as ”œtwo unrelated operational mishaps.”
Those mishaps: One Fire Scout was recently unable to land on the U.S.S. Simpson due to a malfunction following a routine surveillance mission, and another crashed during a different spy mission in northern Afghanistan. The Navy’s still investigating what went wrong. But those weren’t the only problems with the drones. A Pentagon audit found last year that Fire Scouts completed a mere 54 percent of their missions aboard the U.S.S. Halyburton.(more with links)