The Royal Australian Air Force’s 9 Squadron reformed on 11 June 2023 to prepare for the delivery of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft system.
CAPTION: The display of a replica of the RAAF’s MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft at this year’s Avalon International Airshow. Photo by Corporal David Cotton.
The squadron has a proud wartime history, serving during World War 2 and the Vietnam War.
Initially formed in 1939, 9 Squadron saw active service during World War 2 in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, receiving 12 battle honours.
Following initial disbandment in 1944, 9 Squadron reformed 61 years ago on 11 June 1962 as a helicopter squadron undertaking active service in the Vietnam War.
The squadron was then disbanded again in 1989.
9 Squadron reformed in 92 Wing Surveillance and Response Group and its headquarters will be located at RAAF Base Edinburgh – but most Triton operations will be based out of RAAF Base Tindal.
Triton will form part of Australia’s maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, complementing the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon.
The two aircraft systems will provide a leading-edge maritime patrol and response capability for Australia.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Rob Chipman said the re-establishment of 9 Squadron marked the beginning of a new era in the squadron’s distinguished history.
“9 Squadron has played an incredibly important role in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving during critical times for Australia’s security,” Air Marshal Chipman said.
“I’m proud to see the squadron return to service in 2023.”
Officer Commanding 92 Wing Group Captain Paul Carpenter said that as RAAF entered its second century, the MQ-4C Triton represented a fundamental change in the use of airpower.
“Uncrewed aerial systems offer enormous potential to capitalise on the opportunities provided by modern payloads and increased endurance,” Group Captain Carpenter said.
“This will deliver unprecedented persistence and awareness over the maritime domain in support of the integrated force.”
The reformation of 9 Squadron was announced by Defence Minister Richard Marles during the 2023 Australian International Airshow.
Defence expects the delivery of its first Triton, including the relevant ground and support systems, next year.
CONTACT believes RAAF is deliberately dropping ‘Royal Australian’ from its name – despite Defence assuring us it isn’t true. Campaigning against this name-change-by-stealth, CONTACT has appropriately ‘repaired’ this official story. See here for more details