US Navy awards Northrop Grumman $303M for MQ-4C Triton UAS procurement

Two MQ-4C Triton UAS at a Northrop Grumman test facility in California. Photo: US Navy

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Systems a $303,9 million contract for the procurement of three low-rate initial production Lot 2 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.

In addition to the three UAVs, the $303 million contract also covers the acquisition of one main operation control station, one forward operation control station, trade studies, and tooling.

Triton UAS is an unmanned, unarmed, remotely controlled aircraft employed to enhance maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data collection to the fleet, providing both tactical and strategic mission capabilities as part of the U.S. Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force.

The multiple-sensor unmanned aircraft is 48 feet long with a wingspan of 131 feet. The MQ-4C Triton UAS will conduct operations over water, with most operations occurring over international waters 12 miles or more offshore.

Triton UAS uses a “remote split” operational concept, where mission crews are located at a main operating base (MOB), while air vehicles and maintenance personnel are located at a FOB. The East Coast Triton UAS squadron (VUP-19) MOB is based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. U.S. Naval Station Mayport serves as the FOB.

Northrop Grumman is expected to deliver the three UAS by April 2021.

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