The U.S. Department of Defense has announced on 21 April that Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp is being awarded a $12,8 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract for MQ-4C Triton aircraft upgrade.
The U.S. Department of Defense noted that this modification upgrades three MQ-4C Triton aircraft from a baseline Integrated Functional Capability (IFC) 3 software configuration to a Multi-IFC 4 software configuration.
Additionally, this modification updates drawings and associated technical data in support of the MQ-4C IFC software configuration upgrade.
“Work will be performed in Palmdale, California (48 percent); San Diego, California (38 percent); and Moss Point, California (14 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2021,” said in a statement.
For reference, Triton also incorporates a reinforced airframe, for increased internal payload, and wing for hail, bird strike, and gust load protection, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These features allow the aircraft to descend and ascend through harsh maritime weather environments to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed.
Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton supports a wide range of missions including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay.
The aircraft can fly over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles.