The US DoD Approved Additional Triton UAV For Australia

MQ-4C Triton. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is to issue Northrop Grumman with a sole-source contract to supply Australia with two more MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) learned GDC quoting beta.sam.gov website.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) plans to field a total of six such vehicles.

“This contract modification establishes two unfunded option lines for five additional MQ-4C unmanned aircraft (three for the USN and two for the RAAF) and two additional main operating bases (one for the USN and one for the RAAF) and related production support, to include but not limited to: the procurement of long-lead material and associated effort; systems engineering; production management; integrated logistics support; and associated technical, administrative, and financial data,” the notification stated.

Australia currently has the long-lead items for the one Triton under contract, to be built as part of the USN’s wider fiscal year (FY) 2020 low-rate initial-production (LRIP) Lot 5 which also includes one main operating base (MOB) and one forward operating base (FOB) for the country, as well as three Tritons, one MOB, and one FOB for the USN). In February the DoD said a second would be contracted shortly, which would account for one of the two options now to be exercised. According to the DoD notification, this second and a third Triton will be included in FY 2021 LRIP Lot 6 (along with one MOB and one FOB for Australia, and three Tritons, one MOB and one FOB for the USN). The notification did not say to which production lot the final three Tritons for Australia would be allotted, though it did note that “additional UAVs may be procured within LRIP Lot 5 and/or LRIP Lot 6”.

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