On 27th June 2018, the first MQ-4C “Triton” UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which belonged to the VUP-19 DET Point Mugu launched the UAVs first flight from the Naval Base in Ventura County Point Mugu.
The photographs as per released by the US Navy shows one of the two drones; MQ-4C #168461 which was assigned to the unit.
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C “Triton” Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) is an Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance system that will be able to provide support for the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force of the P-8A Poseidon.
This initial flight testing has already provided the drone’s ability to provide FMV (Full Motion Video) to the Poseidon MPA.
This drone looks to be a hybrid of the Global Hawk Block 20 and 30 as it carries onboard an MFAS (Multi Function Active Sensor) Radar System. This radar system will allow the Triton to have the coverage for an area of more than 2.7 million square miles in its single mission that can last up to 24 hours over an altitude of 10 miles with a speed of 8200 nautical miles.
US Navy has made plans to procure another 68 of these aircraft on top of these two prototypes. These aircraft are reported to deploy for Guam later in 2018. The drone’s ESM (Electronic Support Measures) will be used to pick up radar signals for the ships to provide US Navy n their maritime Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions.
The operational capability for the Triton is expected to reach in 2021 fully.