Northrop Grumman this week unveiled Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton autonomous aircraft at its Californian aircraft production site.
The event was attended by U.S. and Australian Defence officials including Air Marshal Robert Chipman, AM, CSC, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, and highlighted the continued progress of the MQ-4C Triton program for both the Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. Navy.
Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is a high altitude long endurance (HALE) aircraft and provides real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).
The Australian Department of Defence entered a Cooperative Program with the United States Navy for the development, production, and sustainment of the Triton capability in 2020. Under the arrangement, Triton is being acquired through a United States Navy contract to Northrop Grumman.
Opportunities for Australian Industry participation will exist on a competitive contracting basis throughout the lifecycle of MQ-4C Triton, including facilities construction, deeper maintenance, training system operation and support, mission planning system support, logistics support, and component repair.
Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems Corporate Vice President and President, Tom Jones, said the unveiling was a significant milestone for Australia and the MQ-4C Triton program. “As we get ready for final system integration and flight test, we are one step closer to delivering this extraordinary maritime awareness capability to Australia,” he said.
“Triton will provide the Royal Australian Air Force with an unprecedented capability to monitor and protect our maritime approaches,” said Air Marshal Robert Chipman. “Triton will work alongside the P-8A Poseidon and this unmanned aircraft system will allow us to cover significant areas, at longer ranges and has the ability to stay airborne longer than a traditional aircraft.”
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