U.S. Navy Goes Unmanned with Triton
The future of America’s high tech military seems to revolve around unmanned vehicles. Ground forces have been calling on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to for years to hit hard-to-reach targets in remote locations. Now, the Navy has gotten on board with the concept, introducing the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).
BAMS has been given the official name of Triton, and is the result of over four years of development by Northrop Grumman. The new unmanned aircraft system (or UAS, the term preferred by the Navy in place of UAV) will work alongside the P-8A Poseidon as part of the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force.
“It’s a phenomenal event to see the fruits of our labor come to fruition after four years of hard work and dedication to this program,” said Capt. James Hoke, program manager for the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262), which manages the Triton program. “We are looking forward to continuing testing and evaluation, parts assembly and installation and radar risk-reduction tests.”
The Triton has a 130.9-ft. wingspan and is based on the design for the Air Force‘s RQ-4B Global Hawk. Sensor systems are created by using existing components from the Department of Defense. The primary sensor system for the UAS is the AN/ZPY-3 multi-function active-sensor (MFAS) radar system.
According to the Navy, the MFAS will give the Triton the ability to cover 2.7 million square miles during the course of a single mission. Although used by the Navy, the Triton will be land-based and deployed in forward locations.
“Last year, we proudly celebrated the centennial of naval aviation—this year we have seen the rollout of a new patrol aircraft and now, the beginning of an unmanned tradition in our fleet with the rollout of BAMS,” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson. “BAMS is uniquely suited to meet the demands of the maritime environment and give us the advantage we will need in the future—history will record this introduction as a milestone in the second hundred years of naval aviation.”
Below you’ll find a video featuring the Triton.
Source: U.S. Navy