Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton Remotely Piloted Aircraft System was rolled out in September as part of a partnership between the Department of Defence, US Navy and Northrop Grumman.
CAPTION: Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton aircraft poses for its first official portraits after emerging from the Northrop Grumman Palmdale paint booth. Photo by Alan Radecki, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Media Services.
Head Aerospace Systems Division in the Capability and Sustainment Group, Air Vice Marshal Leon Phillips, said the partnership will allow for not only intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles but it will support a broad range of joint effects and fully integrate into Air Force’s combat architecture.
“In working together with the US Navy and Defence industry partner Northrop Grumman to develop capability requirements for this aircraft, we are pushing the boundaries of air power to pursue a truly advanced platform that will provide both a foundational capability and a growth path for future decades,” Air Vice Marshal Phillips said.
“Once in service, the remotely piloted High Altitude Long Endurance aerial system will significantly enhance our ability to persistently patrol Australia’s north and north-western approaches, in the south-west Pacific and south to Antarctica.
“Triton will complement the surveillance role of the P-8A Poseidon by providing sustained operations at long ranges, as well as being able to undertake a range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.”
Defence expects the first of up to seven Australian MQ-4C Triton aircraft, including the relevant ground and support systems, to be completed and delivered to Australia in 2024.