In March, the Australian government announced it would be procuring a second MQ-4C TRITON high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The 2016 Defence White Paper identified a requirement for seven TRITONs in total, with “people smuggling and the exploitation of our natural resources as emerging threats the aircraft’s capabilities can help address", according to Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne. Northrop Grumman will deliver the TRITON through a cooperative program with the US Navy (USN).
“TRITON will provide the Australian Defence Force a high-altitude, long-endurance system for intelligence, reconnaissance and broad area surveillance missions to enhance the security of Australia’s borders,” commented the company’s Vice President and TRITON Programmes Manager, Doug Shaffer.
Northrop Grumman is committed to developing a sovereign defence capability for Australia through industrial partnership and participation, direct investment and technology transfer. “We are proud of our partnership with the Australian government and Australian industry, which we exemplified in the recent signing of the Australian Industry Capability Deed with the Minister for Defence Industry at the Avalon Airshow [….] To date we have partnered with several Australian entities to assist in the production and sustainment of the TRITON unmanned aircraft system in Australia. Initiatives like this ensure local companies benefit from the investment in Australia’s security, and we take great pride in contributing to this,” explained Northrop Grumman Australia Country Executive, Chris Deeble.
Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds added that “there will be significant opportunity for Australian industry to share in billions of dollars of system maintenance and network management functions.”