This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Northrop Grumman to deliver MQ-4 Triton UAS to U.S. Navy


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, is awarded a $172,424,000 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract (N00019-19-C-0008). This modification exercises options for the production and delivery of two MQ-4 Triton unmanned air systems for the Navy, one Navy main operating base, trade studies and associated technical and administrative data.


Northrop Grumman to deliver MQ 4 Triton UAS to U.S. Navy Northrop Grumman's MQ-4C Triton prototype during its maiden flight (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


Work will be performed in San Diego, California (30.5%); Red Oak, Texas (12%); Palmdale, California (10%); Baltimore, Maryland (9.7%); Salt Lake City, Utah (7.9%); Bridgeport, West Virginia (4.9%); Indianapolis, Indiana (3.8%); Moss Point, Mississippi (3.6); Chantilly, Virginia (3.5%); Waco, Texas (1.7%); San Clemente, California (1.3%); Newton, North Dakota (.9%); various locations within the continental U.S. (8.8%); and various locations outside the continental U.S. (1.4%), and is expected to be completed in January 2024. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $172,424,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a high-altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for the U.S. Navy as a surveillance aircraft. Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Triton builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk; changes include reinforcements to the air frame and wing, de-icing systems, and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The sensor suites allow ships to be tracked by gathering information on their speed, location, and classification. The MQ-4C System Development and Demonstration (SDD) aircraft was delivered in 2012. A total of 67 aircraft are to be procured. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the MQ-4C was achieved in 2018 with Full Operating Capability (FOC) planned in 2023.