Military Embedded Systems

First MQ-4C BAMS UAS unveiled by Northrop Grumman


June 18, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

PALMDALE, Calif. Officials at Northrop Grumman showed off the first U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) for the first time at their Palmdale, Calif., facility.

BAMS is a maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) system that will support a a number of different missions while operating independently or in directly collaborating with fleet assets. Once operational, the UAS provide commanders with a persistent, reliable picture of surface threats. It will cover large areas of open ocean and littoral regions while functioning as the unmanned segment of the Navy's Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Force.

BAMS is designated as MQ-4C, and the unveiled aircraft’s name is "Triton," which keeps with the Navy’s tradition of naming surveillance aircraft after Greek sea gods. Triton is the Greek messenger of the sea.

Right now the BAMS-D (demonstrator) -- a Block 10 RQ-4 equipped with maritime sensors -- is being operated by the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. BAMS-D provides a sample of the persistent capabilities that the Triton's 360-degree Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) radar will provide to the fleet. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ produces the MFAS radar.

Officials at the Navy Program Executive Office (Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons), Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262), run the BAMS UAS program out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.


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