Northrop Grumman bags $255m MQ-4C Triton production contract

The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Northrop Grumman a $255 million contract for the Lot 3 low-rate initial production of three MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.

The contract will also include trade studies and tooling in support of the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office.

Work on the contract is expected to be completed by December 2021.

The MQ-4C Triton UAS is an unmanned, unarmed, remotely controlled aircraft employed to enhance maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data collection to the fleet, providing both tactical and strategic mission capabilities as part of the US Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force.

The multiple-sensor unmanned aircraft is 48 feet long with a wingspan of 131 feet. The MQ-4C Triton UAS will conduct operations over water, with most operations occurring over international waters 12 miles or more offshore.

Northrop Grumman delivered the first operational MQ-4C Triton aircraft to the US Navy facility at Point Mugu in November this and was set to deliver a second one by the end of the year.

The first two operational Triton aircraft are scheduled to deploy to Guam in 2018.