Navy preps Triton drone system for 2018 deployment
- By Morgan Cole
- Oct 25, 2017
The U.S. Navy is working with Northrop Grumman to run tests and maintenance services on the MQ-4C Triton drone, mission control and operator training systems – to prepare the unmanned aerial system for its initial deployment next year.
The MQ-4C Triton UAS aircraft’s first deployment will be from the U.S. Naval base in Guam. The Triton will execute autonomous maritime surveillance operations from land-based command facilities.
These maintenance and testing services will include procuring field service representatives' technical support to ensure that the new system is capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions once deployed, according to a Department of Defense contract release.
The idea is to configure a maritime-specific drone technology to compliment marine patrol missions; the Triton operates a 360-degree sensor suite that allows for nearly real-time video, long-endurance surveillance, and tactical support for operational commanders. This allows for the system to be capable of capturing both hi-res images and full motion video for surveillance purposes.
The drone flies at 50,000 feet and has a radar that can monitor 300 nautical miles at a time. In one mission the Triton can monitor 1 million square nautical miles, and has an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles, according to Northrop Grumman.
According to the DoD release, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $66,312,606 dollar contract for test and maintenance services that will sustain these systems on October 5th of this year.
Morgan Cole is a freelance writer for Defense Systems