Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton surveillance UAV will allow the United States’ Navy to detect, track, classify and identify vessels on the ocean or in the littorals in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
The MQ-4C Triton is considered the most advanced surveillance platform with the US Navy which can track even small ships and relay their information to the US Navy for further action.
The Triton unmanned aircraft system was deployed for the first time January 26, to provide military commanders in the Pacific greater maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data to inform critical decision-making in one of the most strategically important regions in the world.
“This is a significant milestone in the MQ-4C Triton program,” said Doug Shaffer, vice president and program manager, Triton program, Northrop Grumman. “Our partnership with the U.S. Navy has been crucial in developing this system that will help commanders build a better common operational picture.”
Triton’s ability to fly at high altitude and remain airborne in excess of 24 hours allows commanders to surveil a larger maritime area than ever before. Designed to operate in a manned-unmanned teaming concept, Triton provides an unblinking eye over massive swaths of ocean and littoral areas, enabling manned aircraft such as the U.S. Navy’s P-8 Poseidon to focus on anti-surface and anti-sub-surface warfare.
Unmanned Patrol Squadron One Nine, or VUP-19, is the first squadron to operate the MQ-4C.