The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
July 28/20: Advanced Mission Management Curtiss-Wright Defense Systems won a maximum $7.6 million deal for an advanced mission management system in support of the MQ4-C Triton aircraft program. The MQ-4C Triton is a broad area maritime surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) unveiled by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy. The MQ-4C Triton is based on the RQ-4N, a maritime variant of the RQ-4B Global Hawk. The main aluminum fuselage is of semi-monocoque construction, while the V-tail, engine nacelle and aft fuselage are made of composite materials. The MQ-4C Triton program is managed by the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Programme Office. Work will take place California. Estimated completion date is February 28, 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 – 2020
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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