Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $65 million advance acquisition contract for long-lead components for the manufacture and delivery of three LRIP Lot 5 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft for the US Navy and the Australian Defense Force (ADF).
Besides the MQ-4C unmanned aircraft, this contract provides equipment and associated materials for two ground stations for the US Navy and one for the ADF.
The Australian Government announced last month the procurement a second MQ-4C Triton high-altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS).
According to Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper, the ADF has a requirement for seven high altitude, long endurance Triton unmanned aircraft. Northrop Grumman will deliver the Triton through a cooperative program with the US Navy.
In addition to the seven MQ-4C Triton UAS, Australia is set to procure 15P-8A Poseidon MPA in order to boost its maritime surveillance capability.
According to its launch customer, the US Navy, the MQ-4C Triton is an autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime ISR capability using multiple maritime sensors. The MQ-4C Triton air vehicle is based upon the United States Air Force (USAF) RQ-4B Global Hawk, while its sensors are based upon components of (or entire systems) already fielded in the DoD inventory. Along with the P-8A manned aircraft, the MQ-4C Triton is integral to the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Family of Systems (FoS). The MPRF is the operational agent for the MQ-4C Triton and Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group (CPRG) is the fleet sponsor for the manned/unmanned integration concept.