The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
August 29/18: Sensor Raytheon is being contracted by the US Navy for work on the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The cost-reimbursable job order is valued at $9.3 million and allows for the production and fleet integration of the Triton multi-spectral targeting system (MTS). The MTS is a turreted EO/IR sensor used in maritime and overland ISR missions. According to a DoD notice, the sensor system will augment existing sensors that will enhance navigation as well as CSR, observation and interception missions. The system also provides long-range surveillance, target acquisition, tracking, range finding and laser designation for the Griffin and Paveway missiles and other forms of munitions. The Triton will have a minimum mission radius of 3,000 nautical miles, with a 10 hour time to on-station at 2,000 nmi mission radius, and autonomous flight through moderate icing or turbulence. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be completed by August 2020.
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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