The US Navy has taken delivery of MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft system (UAS), the first production aircraft in its new Integrated Functional Capability (IFC)-4 configuration.
Known as B8, the aircraft arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, US.
Delivery of the aircraft follows its successful maiden flight test in the upgraded multi-intelligence configuration on 29 July 2021.
The upgraded hardware and software configuration of Triton will help fulfil the US Navy’s maritime intelligence, surveillance, investigation and targeting requirements.
It features a 360-degree active electronically scanned array maritime radar, full-motion electro-optical/infra-red video streaming and full-spectrum high altitude long endurance signals intelligence capabilities.
In 2018, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton UAS was officially welcomed into the US Navy fleet.
MQ-4C Triton UAS is designed to deliver intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services over ocean and coastal zones in real time.
With an operational range of 8,200nm, Triton can operate more than 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 16.09km.
The navy has committed to a 68-aircraft programme of record and plans to maintain five round-the-clock operational orbits using the aircraft.
Currently, the US Navy has two MQ-4C Triton jets, in the baseline configuration, as part of an early operational capability (EOC).
The Triton programme is expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2023.