A Northrop Grumman Corporation-built MQ-4C Triton took to the skies for the first time in the highly upgraded multi-intelligence configuration known as integrated functional capability four (IFC-4). Triton is the U.S. Navy’s premier high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE), maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform. Northrop Grumman is working closely with the Navy to progress Triton toward initial operating capability (IOC) and world-wide deployments. The multi-intelligence configuration will also enable the Navy to retire the EP-3E Aries as Triton will be able to assume the intelligence collection missions currently conducted by the Aries.
“The multi-intelligence configuration of Triton will completely revolutionize how the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions,” said Doug Shaffer, vice president and program manager, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman. “Multi-intelligence capabilitiies, coupled with Triton’s long-range sensors and 24-hour endurance, will enable an unprecedented amount of maritime situational awareness to inform real-time decision making at tactical to strategic levels.”
The U.S. Navy is currently operating two Tritons in the Pacific region in the baseline configuration as part of an early operational capability deployment. The Triton program expects to achieve IOC in 2023, and the Navy will eventually maintain five 24/7 operational orbits with a planned 68-aircraft program of record. Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous high-altitude, long-endurance systems perform critical wide-area ISR collection. Today, autonomous HALE systems operate across the globe, with greater than 24-hour endurance, collecting essential ISR data over land and sea to enable rapid, informed decision-making. In the future, these systems will connect the joint force, implementing advanced autonomy and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American multinational aerospace and defense technology company. With 90,000 employees and an annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, it is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. The firm ranks No. 96 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of customers worldwide.