The Australian Department of Defence has officially announced its plan to purchase Triton aircraft.
An unmanned aircraft system with an autonomous capability built for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Triton is the first Northrop Grumman-built aircraft system Australia has purchased. The system will be operated by the Royal Australian Air Force.
“Northrop Grumman looks forward to bringing the Triton unmanned system with its autonomous capability to Australia,” said Ian Irving, chief executive officer, Northrop Grumman Australia.
“Working with the Royal Australian Air Force and the U.S. Navy, we are confident that we can provide the best capability to fulfill Australia’s maritime mission.”
Triton can fly at altitudes of 55,000 feet for 24 hours at a time and is equipped with sensors that provide high-resolution imagery and near real-time video. Pilots and sensor operators fly the Triton from ground stations, which can command flights all over the world.
“Triton provides unprecedented endurance and 360-degree coverage through its unique sensor suite,” said Doug Shaffer, vice president of Triton programs, Northrop Grumman.
“Australia has one of the largest sea zones in the world over which it has rights to use marine resources, also known as an Economic Exclusion Zone. As a flexible platform, Triton can serve in missions as varied as maritime domain awareness, target acquisition, fisheries protection, oil field monitoring and humanitarian relief.”