U.S. Navy awards contract to Northrop Grumman for MQ-4C support

U.S. weapons maker Northrop Grumman Corp. has won a contract valued at as much as  $89,5 million to provide sustainment and engineering services in support of the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the U.S. Navy.

The contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, procures the technical expertise of field service representatives, logisticians and test support to ensure MQ-4C air vehicles and mission control and operator training systems are fully sustained and mission capable.

According to Northrop Grumman Corp. based on the proven Global Hawk UAS, Triton’s autonomous operations are supported by land-based command and control mission planners and sensor operators. Triton equipped with a unique and robust mission sensor suite that provides 360-degree coverage on all sensors, providing unprecedented maritime domain awareness for the U.S. Navy.

Triton also 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.

Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton supports a wide range of missions including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay. 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.

The Department of Defense also added that work is expected to be completed in March 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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