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Digital Battlespace

Australia lays groundwork for Triton arrival

4th December 2020 - 06:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The NITE will allow Australia to ensure data flows are established and verified before its first Triton aircraft arrives.

Northrop Grumman has completed initial development of the MQ-4C Triton Network Integration Test Environment (NITE), located at Royal Australian Air Force Base Edinburgh in South Australia, the company announced on 3 December.

Phase 1A completion means the Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) can begin developing the Triton network design for Australia and to test basic Triton network configuration settings.

‘With [the Australian] Air Force embracing leading edge technology in the form of the remotely piloted MQ-4C Triton, there is now a reliance on assured data flows between the air vehicle and those who operate it on the ground and disseminate what we see,’ said Air Cdr Leon Philips OAM, director general, CIOG.

‘The NITE offers CIOG the earliest opportunity to ensure those data flows are established and verified well before our first aircraft arrives,’ he said.

Northrop Grumman Australia will develop NITE in three phases, allowing CIOG to progress from basic continuity testing between distributed environments to an advanced integrated capability development environment.

‘Construction of the test environment was completed in close partnership with the Chief Information Officer Group and will significantly flatten the learning curve to more efficiently integrate Triton into the joint force,’ said Chris Deeble, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.

Australia expects to receive its first ground control station in early 2022 and its first of six to seven Triton air vehicles in 2023. Northrop Grumman initiated the build of the first Australian Triton in October.

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