The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
January 2/18: LRP Order Northrop Grumman will supply the US Navy with three MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial aircraft under an initial low-rate production order from the service. In conjunction with the UAVs, the $255.3 agreement also includes trade studies and tooling, in support of the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office at Naval Air Station Patuxent in St. Mary’s County, Md., where the contracting Naval Air Systems Command is headquartered. Work will take place in San Diego, California, as well as at least a dozen other locations across the continental United States , with contract completion scheduled for December 2021. The Navy plans to use the Triton alongside the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft as its primary long-range aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform.
The world’s P-3 Orion fleets have served for a long time, and many are reaching the end of their lifespans. In the USA, and possibly beyond, the new P-8 Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft will take up the P-3’s role. While the P-8’s base 737-based airframe offers strong service & maintenance arguments in its favor, the airframe is expensive enough that the P-3s cannot be replaced on a 1:1 basis.
In order to extend the P-8 fleet’s reach, and provide additional capabilities, the Poseidon was expected to work with at least one companion UAV platform. This DID FOCUS Article explains the winning BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) concept, the program’s key requirements, and its international angle. We’ll also cover ongoing contracts and key events related to the program, which chose Northrop Grumman’s navalized MQ-4C Triton Global Hawk variant.
Next-Gen Maritime Patrol Systems: Issues and Options
BAMS: Requirements and Missions
BAMS: The MQ-4C Triton
BAMS: The Program
BAMS: The International Angle
BAMS: Contracts & Key Events
FY 2016 – 2018
FY 2012 – 2013
FY 2010 – 2011
FY 2008 – 2009
FY 2007 and Earlier
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: BAMS/ Triton and Key Ancillaries
News & Views
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