Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton (BAMS)


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25 June 2009
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The Navy MQ-4C Triton is designed to provide the Navy with an advanced autonomous air vehicle and state of the art service-oriented architecture mission control system that will enable it to provide persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) directly to the maritime commander, with coverage of wide oceanographic and littoral areas. The Navy MQ-4C is designed after the RQ-4 family of air vehicles, which are in production and combat proven, providing a cost-effective system with the greatest capability at the lowest risk.

“Today marks a major milestone for the MQ-4C BAMS Unmanned Aircraft System. That’s a tribute to the hard work of the many dedicated professionals collaborating across the US Navy and BAMS industry team.This rollout of the first Triton aircraft is just the latest development in Northrop Grumman’s 70-year history as the leader in unmanned systems. With more than 100,000 UAS delivered over the past decades, we’re exceptionally qualified to advance this technology into the 21st century.” – Gary Ervin, corporate vice president and president of Aerospace Systems.

Photos by Alan Radecki © Northrop Grumman Corporation


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The Northrop Grumman's United States Navy MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program provides persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) data collection and dissemination capability to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF). The MQ-4C Triton is a multi-mission system to support strike, signals intelligence, and communications relay.


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Without a canopy and cockpit or human beings for scale, it is easy to lose sight of how large the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton UAVs are. Thank you for posting the pictures, Stargazer2006.
Flight International cutaway illustration when this aircraft was designated RQ-4N Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).



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In sky !!!!!


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NAVAIR Clips: Triton First Pax River Flight

Published on Apr 20, 2015

The MQ-4C Triton takes off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., April 16, to conduct its first test flight from the naval base. Visit for more information about Triton.
Wow, look at that flat levitation-like climbout. That's cool.
Key AESA radar flight tests begin on MQ-4C Triton.

The US Navy has launched flight testing on the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton of one of the first active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars with 360-degree coverage that was developed exclusively for the maritime patrol mission.
Navy Plans To Kickoff MQ-4C Triton Operational Assessment In August

[/The Navy is on track to start an operational assessment for the MQ-4C Triton program next month where the system will demonstrate tactics and procedures, according to a service official.

Sean Burke, persistent maritime unmanned aircraft systems program manager, said July 16 during a luncheon at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, the assessment team from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron-1 is in the process of being trained to fly the aircraft for the operational assessment.

Initial operational test and evaluation for the program will end in Guam where the first Triton orbit will be established, Burke said.

"The orbit will first be run out of Jacksonville, [FL]," he added.

The baseline Triton will achieve initial operational capability in May 2018. This system includes a radar, electro-optical/infrared, automatic identification system, full communications suite and electronic support, Burke stated.

The second phase of the Triton program is the multi-configuration aircraft that will reach IOC in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020. This version will improve the EO/IR to high definition as well as bringing in signals intelligence. Once Triton has SIGINT this will allow the service to retire the EP-3 fleet, he said.

"We are key to that transition," Burke added.

On April 25, 2013, the Navy issued a stop-work order to ITT Exelis for a sense-and-avoid radar solution. Triton was expected to be the first unmanned aircraft to incorporate the ability to spot other airborne traffic before the radar ran into developmental challenges.

Burke said during that time his office connected with the small business project at the Office of Naval Research. Also, the Navy issued a task to Northrop Grumman to come up with a technical approach that would give the service the performance needed at the right cost.

In November 2014 Naval Air Systems Command released a request for information to meet the service's sense-and-avoid radar requirements. The radar will be designed to prevent the Triton from suffering a mid-air collision.

Burke said the service issued the RFI because his office had heard from various companies they had a technical solution for the sense-and-avoid radar.

"Nothing in those responses gave us any indication that what we had with the Northrop . . . effort was being approached differently with what anybody else had to offer," Burke stated.

Northrop then delivered its task back to NAVAIR and the company's solution was to bring in a different business unit to the lead on antenna miniaturization. Last fall the Navy directed Northrop to begin work on the sense-and-avoid radar, he said. -- Lee Hudson
I don't have linkage at the moment but Japan has been close to pulling the trigger from what I understand.
GTX said:
FighterJock said:
Any thoughts on potential export customers for Triton (BAMS)?

Beyond Australia and the UK?

I have great doubt on the UK we are having enough trouble pulling the trigger on the P-8 let alone purchase this.
Maybe the ASEAN countries come together to lease time on a Triton to monitor the South China Sea
Flyaway said:
I have great doubt on the UK we are having enough trouble pulling the trigger on the P-8 let alone purchase this.

You were saying:
GTX said:
Flyaway said:
I have great doubt on the UK we are having enough trouble pulling the trigger on the P-8 let alone purchase this.

You were saying:

All I say is I'll believe it when I see it. I'm still waiting for some kind of announcement on the P-8 let alone this.
Northrop maintains hope in UK, Norway markets for Triton


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VTOLicious said:
bring_it_on said:

...It does not have anti-jam GPS antennas yet? :eek:

You would wonder what the heck they have been doing, especially in light of developments like this:
I fear that some Tomcats and Phantoms will go down. Invariably both AIrforce are gonna meet in the skies at one time or another.
Germany cancels it's Triton program.

Modified for grammar. The Program was not cancelled, just Germany's purchase of the the Triton.

How much farther do you think Germany is going to scale back its defense spending? Do they think they can court both China, the US, & Russia to avoid any potential military conflict down the road?

Did you even read the article?
A truly odd reaction to Germany deciding to go with a converted business jet instead of a UAV for a signal intelligence mission because the UAV wasn’t meeting their requirements as they had expected it to do so (and likely the UAV considerably more expensive than initially projected).
Zero to do with China or whatever unrelated nonsense you are “contributing”.

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