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On Jun. 14, the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), was unveiled during a ceremony attended by about 300 people at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, California, manufacturing plant.
Now officially called the Triton, the MQ-4C, that is continuing testing and evaluation, parts assembly and installation, and radar risk-reduction tests, will complement the P-8A Poseidon within the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force family of systems.
The MQ-4C is a much advanced version than the first generation Global Hawk Block 10: it is believed to be a sort of Block 20 and Block 30 Global Hawk hybrid, carrying Navy payload. With a 130.9-foot wingspan, the giant drone features an AN/ZPY-3 multi-function active-sensor (MFAS) radar system, that gives the Triton the ability to cover more than 2.7 million square miles in a single Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) mission.
The unveiling ceremony came just three days after a BAMS demonstrator aircraft crashed during a test flight near Bloodworth Island in, Dorchester County, Maryland. Fortunately, there were no damages to people or property on the ground.