The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) arrived in Mayport, Florida, Dec. 16, following its initial deployment in the Pacific theater. This air vehicle was one of two MQ-4C Triton UAS that operated from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, after completing their first rotational deployment to Japan on Oct. 12, 2021. VUP-19, the first Triton UAS squadron, operates and maintains two aircraft as part of an Early Operational Capability (EOC) to further refine the concept of operations, including expeditionary basing, and complement manned systems to better locate, identify, and track contacts of interest in the maritime domain.
“The MQ-4C Triton demonstrates the significance of manned and unmanned integration to support national security interests,” said Cmdr. Brian Conlan, commander, Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19. “The VUP-19 and MQ-4C Triton deployment to the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility provided an opportunity to apply and refine the tactics, techniques, and procedures to expand our concept of operations and inform planning for future deployments around the world.”
The MQ-4 Triton’s arrival at Naval Station Mayport will support unit level training and preparation for the next variant of MQ-4C. The Navy conducted its first test flight of the MQ-4C Triton in its upgraded hardware and software configuration, known as Integrated Functional Capability (IFC)-4, July 29 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. IFC-4 brings an enhanced multi-mission sensor capability as part of the Navy’s Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (MISR&T) transition plan. The MQ-4C can remain aloft more than 30 hours at 55,000 ft (17,000 m) at speeds of up to 330 knots (380 mph; 610 km/h).
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an American high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development for the United States Navy as a surveillance aircraft. Together with its associated ground control station, it is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.