Northrop Grumman has completed Phase 1A – initial development – of the MQ-4C Triton Network Integration Test Environment (NITE), located at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh in South Australia.
Phase 1A completion means CIOG can begin developing the Triton network design for Australia and to test basic Triton network configuration settings. Northrop Grumman Australia will develop NITE in three phases, allowing CIOG to progress from basic continuity testing between distributed environments to an advanced integrated capability development environment.
“Construction of the test environment was completed in close partnership with the Chief Information Officer Group and will significantly flatten the learning curve to more efficiently integrate Triton into the joint force,” said Chris Deeble, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia. “Completion of Phase 1A is also an important milestone for Northrop Grumman in Australia, highlighting our ongoing commitment to supporting the Australian Defence Force with world-leading technology.”
“With Air Force embracing leading edge technology in the form of the remotely piloted MQ-4C Triton, there is now a reliance on assured data flows between the air vehicle and those who operate it on the ground and disseminate what we see,” said Air Commodore Leon Philips OAM, director general, CIOG. “The NITE offers CIOG the earliest opportunity to ensure those data flows are established and verified well before our first aircraft arrives.”
Australia expects to receive its first ground control station in early 2022 and its first of six to seven Triton air vehicles in 2023. Northrop Grumman initiated the build of the first Australian Triton in October.