Magazine article National Defense

Navy Surveillance Drone Undergoes First Round of Flight Tests

Magazine article National Defense

Navy Surveillance Drone Undergoes First Round of Flight Tests

Article excerpt

The Navy is one step closer to having its own fleet of unmanned aircraft capable of conducting long-endurance surveillance missions at high altitudes. The MQ-4C Triton completed its initial test flight phase in March.

"The system performed exceptionally well during flight test,' Capt. Jim Hoke, the service's Triton UAS program manager, said in a statement.

The service plans to buy 70 aircraft from prime contractor Northrop Grumman at a cost of $189 million per unit, according to a 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office. Initial operating capability is scheduled for 2017.

During testing designed to evaluate the air vehicle's performance at various altitudes and speeds, the Triton flew a combined 81 hours during 13 flights. It reached a maximum altitude of almost 60,000 feet.

After a second aircraft completes flight testing at Northrop's Palmdale, Calif.-facility, both air vehicles will be transported to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

There, the Navy and Northrop Grumman will install and test the aircraft's sensor package later this year, company spokesman Warren Comer told National Defense. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.