The Australian Government’s Department of Defence has acquired an additional Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), bringing the country’s Triton fleet to a total of three. Originally developed for the U.S. Navy, the Triton unmanned aerial system (UAS) is designed to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in maritime environments.
The Triton UAS fleet will operate in conjunction with Australia’s Boeing P-8A Poseidon manned aircraft to provide a comprehensive maritime patrol and response capability, protecting Australia’s borders and making the region more secure. All aircraft will also provide support for both domestic and foreign-based national security response activities.
The acquisition and integration of a fleet of Triton unmanned aircraft has provided significant opportunities for the Australian defence industry, including the construction of facilities in South Australia and the Northern Territory, software integration, engineering, logistics and manufacturing of components.
Australia’s Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, commented: “Once in service, this capability will significantly enhance our ability to persistently patrol Australia’s maritime approaches from the North, in the South West Pacific and down to Antarctica.
“The fleet is being developed and purchased through a Cooperative Program with the US Navy. This Program strengthens our ability to develop advanced maritime surveillance capability and ensure our capabilities remain complementary with our security partners, while sharing in the benefits of their technical expertise and project costs.
“Our membership of the Cooperative Program gives us the confidence to acquire our third Triton. We will continue to work closely with the United States to assure our future capability. Together we are developing this cutting edge military technology to the highest standards. This work will help ensure Australia’s maritime region is secure well into the future.”
“Over $475 million is set to be spent locally, with several Australian companies already completing Triton production work for Northrop Grumman Corporation.”