Northrop Grumman Receives $251.6 Million for Three MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft

Northrop Grumman Systems is awarded a contract modification, worth around 251.6 million, for three low rate initial production lot 4 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.

The modification also includes delivery of ground stations, trade studies, tooling and associated support equipment along with the aircraft.

Work will be performed in San Diego, California (30.5%); Red Oak, Texas (12%); Palmdale, California (10%); Baltimore, Maryland (9.7%); Salt Lake City, Utah (7.9%); Bridgeport, West Virginia (4.9%); Indianapolis, Indiana (3.8%); Moss Point, Mississippi (3.6%); Chantilly, Virginia (3.5%); Waco, Texas (1.7%); San Clemente, California (1.3%); various locations within the continental U.S. (9.7%); and various locations outside the continental U.S. (1.4%), and is expected to be completed in February 2023.

Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an American high-altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed for the U.S. Navy as a maritime surveillance aircraft. It is developed from the U.S. Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance aircraft.

Developed under the Navy’s 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 (SAR) missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8A Poseidon manned maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

Triton builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk; changes include reinforcements to the airframe and wing, de-icing systems, and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed.

Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the MQ-4C was achieved in 2018 with Full Operating Capability (FOC) planned in 2023.

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