RAAF readying to receive first MQ-4C Triton


The first of four MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) will soon arrive in Australia, following certification in the United States.

According to a statement from Defence on Thursday, AUS 1 completed the first leg of its ‘ferrying flight’ on February 16 followed by final testing, fit-out and certification by the US Navy at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. 

Delivery will be “soon” and follows the successful delivery and installation of its ground support systems. 

“These events form part of a complex series of processes, systems and technologies that have been integrated in preparation for AUS 1’s arrival on home soil; and in support of the additional aircraft that will be delivered to complete the RAAF MQ-4C Triton fleet,” said Group Captain Andrew Leahy, Director – Future Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems Program Office in Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG)

“In January this year, the ‘Trailerised’ Forward Operating Base, which is the initial ground ‘Mission Control Station’ for the MQ-4C Triton, was successfully delivered to RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory – representing another significant milestone for the project.” 

Built by Northrop Grumman, the fleet of Tritons will provide surveillance across Australia’s maritime approaches and other areas of interest – complementing the RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon – and be based at Tindal. 

They will be operated by the Number 9 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh, in South Australia.

“The MQ-4C Triton will deliver unprecedented persistence and awareness over the maritime domain in support of the Integrated Force,” said Head of Air Force Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Wendy Blyth.

“Uncrewed aerial systems offer enormous potential to capitalise on the opportunities provided by modern payloads and increased endurance.”

Picture: File photo of MQ-4C Triton. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman. Image has been manipulated

Further reading

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