Demonstration Triton UAV platform under construction
Northrop Grumman has announced that it is building a company-owned development and demonstration platform unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for use on the US Navy’s MQ-4C Triton programme. The UAV will be used to perform testing efforts for the navy in preparation for the Triton’s expected operational date of 2015.
Triton aims to provide a detailed picture of surface vessels to identify threats across vast areas of ocean and littoral areas. With its ability to fly missions up to 24 hours, Triton will complement many manned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
According to Northrop Grumman, wing sections were joined to the aircraft's fuselage at the company's production facility in Palmdale, California; and the aircraft will be outfitted with the same intelligence-gathering sensors and communications suite as the Navy's Triton programme.
Steve Enewold, Northrop Grumman's vice president and program manager for Triton, said: ‘Eventually, we will use the aircraft as a test bed to improve system performance, incorporate new intelligence-gathering capabilities and conduct demonstrations. We've proven that company-owned systems allow us to reduce risk in testing efforts and deliver capabilities faster to our customers.’
All production efforts related to this system were funded internally by the company.
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