Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has been officially welcomed into the US Navy fleet, marking the beginning of its flight operations.
Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu serves as home to the maintenance detachment of the US Navy’s first unmanned patrol squadron, Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)-19 DET Point Mugu.
Maintenance personnel are currently carrying out training and tests on the MQ-4C Triton system before its planned deployment to Guam later this year.
Point Mugu has completely renovated an existing hangar in order to accommodate up to four Triton UAS units, which feature a 130.9ft wingspan.
The first two aircraft are currently situated at Point Mugu.
Ventura County US Representative Julia Brownley said: “The Triton is an essential component of the navy’s future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and a critical programme for the continued strength of Naval Base Ventura County and our national security.
“I have made funding for research, development and procurement of the Triton a top priority.
“When fully developed, this programme will bring jobs and an economic boost to Ventura County.”
The MQ-4C Triton is an unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft featuring an autonomous capability.
The aircraft can be piloted from a ground station and is capable of flying for up to 24 hours, reaching altitudes of up to 55,000ft.
It is primarily based on the Global Hawk UAS system and its autonomous operations are supported by land-based command and control mission planners and sensor operators.
Additionally, the MQ-4C Triton is equipped with a robust mission sensor suite that offers 360° coverage on all sensors in order to offer unprecedented maritime domain awareness for the US Navy.