Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US Navy MQ-4C Triton drone reaches initial operational capability

U.S. Defense giant Northrop Grumman has announced that multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft achieved a declaration of initial operating capability (IOC) by the U.S. Navy. 

As noted by the company, MQ-4C Triton is the U.S. Navy’s only uncrewed, high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft performing persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting.

Rho Cauley Bruner, director, Triton program, Northrop Grumman: “Triton has proven to be invaluable for the maritime patrol and reconnaissance mission in the Indo-Pacific. Now that the system has achieved initial operating capability, commanders will be able to fully leverage Triton’s powerful sensor suite to detect and deter potential adversaries around the world.”

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Built for the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, the multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton supports a wide range of missions including maritime patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay. These aircraft provide commanders with persistent surveillance for the prediction of an adversary’s behavior and enabling better planning, greatly enhancing joint military responses and operations.

Capt. Josh Guerre, Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program manager, U.S. Navy: “Persistent global maritime awareness is central to deterring, or competing and winning against, our adversaries. Triton ensures we’re making informed decisions and effectively operating anywhere in the world.”

With an operating altitude greater than 50,000 feet and endurance of 24 hours, Triton provides continuous communications relay to keep a distributed Navy connected, while ensuring commanders are operating off a common operational picture. Its unparalleled, long-range sensors allow it to detect, classify and track maritime targets well outside the detection of enemy ships and surface-to-air missiles.

In one 24-hour mission, Triton can survey four million nautical miles.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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