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US Navy Triton UAS flight trials making progress

7th January 2014 - 10:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The MQ-4C Triton UAS under development for the US Navy has reached the halfway point in its envelope expansion flight test programme. Nine flights have now been completed at the Northrop Grumman manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California.

The flights are being conducted to validate the aircraft's ability to operate at a range of altitudes, speeds and weights before surveillance sensors are installed.

The aircraft has completed endurance flights of up to 9.4-hours at altitudes up to 50,000 feet; as well as performing doublets, a manoeuvre that tests the aircraft's ability to recover from small perturbations in its flight path caused by turbulence.

Triton is designed to carry a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads to allow military commanders to gather high-resolution imagery, use radar to detect targets, and provide airborne communications and information-sharing capabilities to military units across long distances.

The US Navy plans to field 68 Triton UAS, which will be used with the manned P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to conduct surveillance missions.

The Shephard News Team


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