The Salamander underground comes through. The report to Congress on Fire Scout referenced earlier this week can be found here.
You have to skip the first 11 pages of letters to Congressmen and Senators to get to the meat. Head to the link above, give it a read and then come back.
Let's discuss. Here are my Top-3.
Since Milestone C, the program has conducted extensive flight testing collecting 1,500 MQ-8B flight hours between March 2007 and March 2011. Contractor developmental test pilots executing developmental test plans flew 1,250 of those hours. These developmental tests were not operationally realistic, and yielded little insight into the operational effectiveness of the system. The tests were conducted in a controlled environment with no opposing forces and at whatever pace was needed to collect required engineering data. No tests were conducted in adverse weather or with any form of electronic combat. Navy operators flew the remaining 250 hours in a littoral environment, taking advantage of shipping that happened into the field of observation and with no ground truth (time, space, position information) available.2.
There are limited data from which to assess the reliability, maintainability, and availability of the system. The contractor does not use standard Navy maintenance procedures, tools, and tracking and reporting software while maintaining the systems used during developmental test. While the aviation detachment aboard the USS Halyburton does follow standard Navy maintenance practices, the detachment includes additional personnel and contractor technical representatives that will not be present once the Navy fields the system.3.
The ground control station user interface software generates actions unrelated to operator actions or intent. As an example, during flight, if an operator deletes a target from the target list, it results in a lost link that requires execution of the emergency procedure to regain control of the air vehicle. In one recently discovered anomaly, the space bar on the keyboard acts like an “Enter” key for the currently selected window. Inadvertently hitting the space bar activates the selection in that window. Operators aboard the USS Halyburton discovered this anomaly when the air vehicle operator’s headset cord inadvertently hit the space bar and activated the self destruct countdown timer.... and we deployed it to Libya.
What are your Top-3?