The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
May 18/18: Triton needs more money The Naval Air Systems Command is contracting Northrop Grumman Systems for services related to the MQ-4C platform. The firm target advance acquisition contract, valued at $45 million, provides for lead materials components, material, parts, and associated efforts required to maintain the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system planned production schedule. The MQ-4C Triton, despite being designated a multi-mission aircraft, mostly performs ISR/reconnaissance missions in support of the P-8 Poseidon. In mythology, Triton was Poseidon’s son, and the messenger of the sea. Tritons work with the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft on missions that include maritime surveillance, collection of enemy order of battle information, battle damage assessment, port surveillance, communication relay and other support functions. Work will be performed at various locations across the continental US, including San Diego, California; Baltimore, Maryland and Salt Lake City, Utah. Work is expected to be completed by January 2019.
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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