MQ-4C Triton UAS arrives at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and enters next phase of testing
The first U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has completed a flight from California to Maryland. The UAS flew 11 hours from the Northrop Grumman Corp. facility in Palmdale to Naval Air Station Patuxent River to start its next phase of testing, moving the program closer toward operational assessment.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Navy’s MQ-4C Triton UAS program.
At Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the aircraft will be outfitted with a sensor suite, before going through a series of sensor integration flights. One of Triton’s primary sensors, the AN/ZPY-3 multifunction active sensor radar, will provide an unprecedented 360-degree field of regard for detecting and identifying ships.
“Now that the aircraft has arrived, we are ready to conduct the next phase of the test program,” said Capt. James Hoke, Triton program manager, Naval Air Systems Command. “Triton is one of the Navy’s most significant investments in unmanned aircraft systems to date and we look forward to evaluating its capabilities.”
In preparation for the cross-country flight, a Navy/Northrop Grumman team completed numerous systems tests on Triton.