Military Embedded Systems

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy flight test second Triton UAS


October 16, 2014

Amanda Harvey

Assistant Editor

Military Embedded Systems

PALMDALE, Calif. On October 15, the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman completed the first flight test of the second MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The over 6-hour flight was a critical first step in preparing the UAS to fly to a Navy facility in Maryland in late October.

The Triton UAS is capable of flying at altitudes higher than 10 miles, which allows for one million square nautical miles of ocean coverage. The UAS is designed for maritime missions of up to 24 hours, and its advanced suite of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors can detect and classify various types of craft.

"Our team worked incredibly hard to get the second Triton ready for first flight, which will help us plan its ferry flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent River," says Mike Mackey, Triton program director at Northrop Grumman. "We're eager to continue working with the Navy during the next phase of Triton's flight test program to speed up its availability to the warfighter."

Before the Triton performs its ferry flight, it will undergo various ground checks and inspections for safety.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the Triton UAS. The current contract calls for 68 Triton UASs to be fielded in the future.

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