American multinational aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman has delivered the first Production IFC-4 Triton to the US Navy.
Known as B8, this is the first production Triton to be upgraded to the multi-intelligence configuration to meet the US Navy’s maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting needs.
B8 was delivered to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, on 1 February, according to the company. The US Navy officially welcomed the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system to the fleet in May 2018.
Based on the company’s Global Hawk UAS design, Triton’s autonomous operations are supported by land-based command and control mission planners and sensor operators. The vessel will be equipped with a unique and robust mission sensor suite that provides 360-degree coverage on all sensors.
Specifically, Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe, for increased internal payload, and wing for hail, bird strike, and gust load protection, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These features allow the aircraft to descend and ascend through harsh maritime weather environments to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed.
The aircraft can fly over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles.
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