The MQ-4C Triton: Poseidon’s Unmanned Herald
November 15/17: Deliveries Northrop Grumman announced Friday that it has delivered the first operational MQ-4C Trition UAV to the US Navy at its facility at Point Mugu. It will be joined by a second operational Triton later this year and both aircraft will be prepared by the maintenance detachment of Unmanned Patrol Squadron based at Point Mugu before deployment to Guam in 2018. In addition to Guam, the Navy’s first MQ-4C squadron will be based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, with the service planning to deploy Triton squadrons to NAS Mayport, Florida, NAS Sigonella, Italy and the Middle East in the future.
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 – 2017
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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