The Japanese MoD who made the announcement via its Twitter account today, added:
“U.S. Air Force Global Hawk and U.S. Navy Triton, whose missions are Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities, will be temporarily deployed to Japan after mid-May. In the midst of increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, it is critical to enhance ISR activities by both countries. U.S Forces have temporarily deployed Global Hawk operated based in Guam to Japan since 2014. U.S. Navy Triton is the improved model of Global Hawk specialized for maritime surveillance and this is the first time for Triton to be temporarily deployed to Japan. This deployment is intended to demonstrate US commitment to Japan’s Defense and will be beneficial to security of Japan by strengthening the ability of maritime surveillance around Japan, given the increasingly active maritime activities by surrounding countries”.
About MQ-4C Triton Maritime Surveillance HALE UAV
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. It is designed and produced by Northrop Grumman.
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 U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Family of Systems. 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.
The United States Navy has expressed a need for 70 aircraft. Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper identified the requirement for seven high altitude, long endurance Triton unmanned aircraft. Three have been formally ordered. The German Defence Ministry confirmed in March 2017 that it had decided to buy the MQ-4C to replace the EuroHawk program, with deliveries occurring after 2025. The plan has now been canceled. While Japan has ordered the RQ-4B Global Hawk variant (the first flight took place on 15 April 2021), it has not ordered the Triton yet.
MQ-4C Triton specifications:
- Length: 47 ft 7 in (14.5 m)
- Wingspan: 130 ft 11 in (39.9 m)
- Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.6 m)
- Empty weight: 14,945 lb (6,781 kg)
- Gross weight: 32,250 lb (14,630 kg)
- Maximum speed: 357 mph (575 km/h, 320 kn)
- Range: 9,400 mi (15,200 km, 8,200 nmi)
- Endurance: 30 hours
- Service ceiling: 56,000 ft (17,000 m)