The US Navy has deployed its Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime System (BAMS) for the first time in Guam.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will provide greater maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data to military commanders in the Pacific to keep them informed about critical decision-making.

Unmanned Patrol Squadron One Nine (VUP-19), the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate the MQ-4C.

Triton is the US Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced ISR platform. Operators can use its autonomous suite of maritime sensors to detect, track, classify and identify vessels on the ocean or in the littorals in some of the busiest shipping lanes globally.

The missions to be conducted by MQ-4C Triton will complement the P-8A Poseidon and are expected to bring increased persistence, capability and capacity through its multi-sensor mission payload.

Northrop Grumman Triton vice-president and programme manager Doug Shaffer said: “This is a significant milestone in the MQ-4C Triton programme.

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“Our partnership with the US Navy has been crucial in developing this system that will help commanders build a better common operational picture.”

Triton is capable of flying at high altitude and can remain airborne in excess of 24 hours. These capabilities allow commanders to surveil a larger maritime area.

The system has been designed to operate in a manned-unmanned teaming concept and enables manned aircraft such as the US Navy’s P-8 Poseidon to focus on anti-surface and anti-sub-surface warfare.

The US Navy has sent two MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to Guam, where they will be initially deployed in the Pacific theater.

Both the Tritons have arrived at Andersen Air Force base and will fall under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72, lead for patrol, reconnaissance and surveillance forces in 7th Fleet.

In June 2018, the US Navy welcomed Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton system into its fleet.