USA: Another Milestone in Development of Triton UAS
Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy have marked another milestone in development of the Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with the completion of the ninth initial flight test.
During the testing process, also known as envelope expansion, taking place at the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif, the Triton test team accomplished endurance flights of up to 9.4-hours at altitudes up to 50,000 feet. The aircraft also performed doublets, a maneuver that tests the aircraft’s ability to recover from small perturbations in its flight path caused by turbulence.
Mike Mackey, Northrop Grumman’s Triton program director, stated: “Completion of envelope expansion will allow the test team to prepare for installation and further testing of Triton’s surveillance sensors.”
Triton integrates a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads that gather high-resolution imagery, detect targets, and provide airborne communications and information-sharing capabilities to military units across long distances.
The U.S. Navy plans to field 68 Triton UAS to conduct maritime surveillance missions.
Naval Today Staff, January 08, 2014; Image:Northrop Grumman