Jan 8, 2014

Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Hits Testing Milestone

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy are progressing rapidly in flight-testing the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.
The company announced on Jan. 6 that the single-engine intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) machine had completed nine sorties since its first flight on May 22, marking roughly the half-way point in the jet’s envelope expansion process.
The Triton will eventually carry a 360-degree AN/ZPY-3 Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) active electronically scanned array radar, MTS-B electro-optical/infrared camera, AN/ZLQ-1 electronic support measures suite and an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver.
It will also have satellite communications and Link-16 capability and to act as a communications relay for the fleet.
For this series of tests, Northrop stated that the MQ-4C has completed flights that are 9.4 hours in duration at altitudes of up to 50,000ft.
The Navy plans to buy a total of 68 MQ-4C aircraft, of which 20 would be operated at any given time to generate five “orbits”. The Triton would be used in conjunction with the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

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