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  • Global Military Communications

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton achieves initial operating capability with the US Navy

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft achieved a declaration of initial operating capability (IOC) by the US Navy.

  • MQ-4C Triton is the US Navy’s only uncrewed, high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft performing persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting. The US Navy recently announced IOC for Triton.

  • Since achieving early operational capability in May 2020, the US Navy's Pacific Fleet employed Triton in the US Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility conducting maritime and reconnaissance missions.

  • Northrop Grumman has delivered five multi-intelligence Triton aircraft to the US Navy, with the latest delivered June 2023.


Rho Cauley Bruner, director, Triton program, Northrop Grumman: “Triton has proven to be invaluable for the maritime patrol and reconnaissance mission in the Indo-Pacific. Now that the system has achieved initial operating capability, commanders will be able to fully leverage Triton’s powerful sensor suite to detect and deter potential adversaries around the world.”

Capt. Josh Guerre, Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program manager, US Navy: “Persistent global maritime awareness is central to deterring, or competing and winning against, our adversaries. Triton ensures we’re making informed decisions and effectively operating anywhere in the world.”

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton achieves initial operating capability with the US Navy
The multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft provides an unprecedented amount of information to support critical decision making. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Details on MQ-4C Triton:

Built for the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, the multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton supports a wide range of missions including maritime patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay. These aircraft provide commanders with persistent surveillance for the prediction of an adversary’s behavior and enabling better planning, greatly enhancing joint military responses and operations.

With an operating altitude greater than 50,000 feet and endurance of 24 hours, Triton provides continuous communications relay to keep a distributed Navy connected, while ensuring commanders are operating off a common operational picture. Its unparalleled, long-range sensors allow it to detect, classify and track maritime targets well outside the detection of enemy ships and surface-to-air missiles.

In one 24-hour mission, Triton can survey four million nautical miles.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect and protect the world, and push the boundaries of human exploration across the universe. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 98,000 employees define possible every day.

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