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MQ-4C Triton UAS reaches initial operational capability with US Navy

15th September 2023 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The MQ-4C Triton has achieved a declaration of initial operating capability (IOC) by the USN, with five aircraft now in active service. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

The MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft has officially achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) with the US Navy.

Northrop Grumman's multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft has achieved a declaration of initial IOC by the USN.

Since achieving early operational capability in May 2020, the navy's Pacific Fleet has employed Triton in the US Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility conducting maritime and reconnaissance missions.

Northrop Grumman has delivered five multi-intelligence Triton aircraft to the navy, with the latest delivered in June 2023.

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Rho Cauley Bruner, director, Triton programme, at Northrop Grumman said: '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.'

In its multi-intelligence configuration, the MQ-4C features a 360-degree AESA maritime radar, full-motion EO/IR video streaming, and an upgraded ZLA-1(v2) ELINT sensor and a new SIGINT sensor based on those used on the crewed EP-3E.

Shephard Defence Insight notes that the USN has ordered a total of 65 MQ-4Cs, and based on the navy's FY2022 budget request, the flyaway unit cost of a Triton is $141.8 million.

The Shephard News Team


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