MQ-8B became the first unmanned helo to conduct actual operations on a navy ship. The UAV left on an anti-narcotics mission from a port in Florida on Monday. The USS McInerney (FFG-8) is no stranger to the unmanned aerial vehicle because it hosted it during developmental testing. A crew of Northrop Grumman engineers are on board to help the aircraft stay healthy.
The operational tests will help the Navy field rotorcraft UAVs on its Littoral Combat Ship, which is still in development.