The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
March 16/20: Test Support Northrop Grumman Systems won an $86.2 million modification, which exercises options to provide sustainment, engineering, logistics and test support for MQ-4C Triton aircraft mission control and operator training systems. In addition, this effort includes procurement of field service representative’s technical support to ensure that the MQ-4C unmanned surveillance aircraft are mission-capable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions supporting early operational capability. The Navy will obligate $200K from fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds; $5.8M from fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds; and $55.5M from fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds at the time of award, with $5.8M set to expire at the end of the current Fiscal Year. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a high-altitude long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle designed for the US Navy as a surveillance aircraft. Work will take place in Maryland, Florida, Guam and California and estimated completion will be by March 2021.
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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