Welcome Triton

Northrop Grumman unveiled the Navy’s first MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft in a June 14 ceremony at the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. The rollout of this test article coincided with the Navy’s release of the name. Triton is the Greek messenger of the sea and keeps with Navy tradition of naming its surveillance airplanes after Greek sea gods, according to Northrop Grumman’s release. The company is developing Triton under the sea service’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. “Today is a significant day for the BAMS team,” said Rear Adm. Bill Shannon, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons. He said the Triton will “provide the fleet a game-changing persistent maritime and littoral intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability.” The Triton air vehicle is based on the Air Force’s RQ-4B Global Hawk. Its primary sensor is the 360-degree multi-function active sensor radar, according to the Navy’s June 14 release. The Triton will be an adjunct to the P-8A Poseidon for maritime patrol and reconnaissance. Initial Triton operations are planned for 2015. The total buy is projected at 68 production airframes.