Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced the Australian government’s decision to provide funding for an additional three of their planned six MQ-4C TRITON UAVs and associated ground mission control stations. The MQ-4C is a cooperative development programme between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the U.S. Navy, providing a round-the-clock maritime wide-area ISR capability, operating at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet. It can cover more than two million square miles of ocean and littorals in a single flight, bringing unprecedented awareness to operational commanders’ common operating pictures.
In addition to the aircraft, Australian has also committed funds for the main operating base at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia and a forward operating base at RAAF Tindal in the Northern Territory. The former allows for a permanent control station while the latter enables deployment of the TRITON system to support Australian national security requirements. Like the US, Australia will use the MQ-4C alongside its P-8 POSEIDON Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet.