The U.S. Navy’s first MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) have arrived in Guam for their initial deployment in the Pacific theater.
Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate and maintain two aircraft as part of an Early Operational Capability (EOC) to further develop the concept of operations and fleet learning associated with operating a high-altitude, long-endurance system in the maritime domain.
The Tritons forward-deployed to Guam, both of which have arrived at Andersen Air Force base as of January 26, will fall under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72, lead for patrol, reconnaissance and surveillance forces in 7th Fleet.
«The introduction of MQ-4C Triton to the Seventh Fleet area of operations expands the reach of the U.S. Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force in the Western Pacific», said Captain Matt Rutherford, commander of CTF-72. «Coupling the capabilities of the MQ-4C Triton with the proven performance of P-8A Poseidon, P-3 Orion and EP-3 Aries will enable improved maritime domain awareness in support of regional and national security objectives».
The U.S. Navy’s Persistent Maritime UAS program office at Patuxent River, managed by Captain Dan Mackin, and industry partner Northrop Grumman, worked closely with VUP-19 in preparation for EOC. Prior to flying the aircraft to Guam, the team completed extensive operational test and unit level training.
«This significant milestone marks the culmination of years of hard work by the joint team to prepare Triton for overseas operations», said Mackin. «The fielding of the U.S. Navy’s premier unmanned aircraft system and its additive, persistent, multi-sensor data collection and real-time dissemination capability will revolutionize the way maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is performed».
The MQ-4C Triton will conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions that will complement the P-8A Poseidon and will bring increased persistence, capability, and capacity through its multi-sensor mission payload.
«The inaugural deployment of Triton UAS brings enhanced capabilities and a broad increase in Maritime Domain Awareness to our forward Fleet commanders», said Rear Admiral Peter Garvin, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. «VUP-19, the U.S. Navy’s first dedicated UAS squadron supported by an outstanding NAVAIR and industry team, is superbly trained and ready to provide the persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) coverage the Navy needs».
Initial Operational Capability (IOC) will include four air vehicles with capacity to support 24/7 operations.
|Wingspan||130.9 feet/39.9 m|
|Length||47.6 feet/14.5 m|
|Height||15.4 feet/4.6 m|
|Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW)||32,250 lbs/14,628 kg|
|Maximum Internal Payload||3,200 lbs/1,452 kg|
|Maximum External Payload||2,400 lbs/1,089 kg|
|Self-Deploy||8,200 NM/9,436 miles/15,186 km|
|Maximum Altitude||56,500 feet/17,220 m|
|Maximum Velocity, TAS (True Air Speed)||331 knots/381 mph/613 km/h|
|Maximum Endurance||24 hours|