The US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract valued $251.5 million to supply four MQ-4C Triton drones.
"This modification procures three low rate initial production lot 4 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft, ground stations, trade studies, tooling and associated support equipment," the US Department of Defense said in a statement Friday.
The MQ-4C Triton is a high altitude, long endurance drone devveloped under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program. The system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue (SAR) missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Its primary surveillance sensor is an AN/ZPY-3 Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) X-band AESA radar, which is capable of a 360-degree field-of-regard, allowing a MQ-4C Triton to survey over 7 million square kilometres of ocean within a 24-hour period.
Work for the current contract is expected to be completed in February 2023.