The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
September 25/18: MFAS Northrop Grumman is being tapped to to support organizational level maintenance for the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The awarded firm-fixed-price delivery order is valued at $64.8 million and provides for the production of spares needed to keep the Triton’s Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) operational. According to the company’s website the AN/ZPY-3 MFAS is a 360-degree field-of-regard AESA radar designed for maritime surveillance. The initial spares requirement includes six antenna group assemblies, six wideband receivers/exciters, ten radar signal processors (RSP), two antenna drive electronics and two RSP external power supplies for the MFAS. The MQ-4C Triton provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) including vessel detection, tracking and classification over vast ocean and coastal regions. Work will be performed at multiple locations inside and outside the continental US, including – but not limited to – Linthicum, Maryland; Exeter, New Hampshire and San Diego, California. The delivery order is scheduled to run through June 2022.
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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