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The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system (UAS) has made its first flight.
The flight 1h 20m flight from Northrop's Palmdale, California facility reached 20,000ft (7,000m) altitude.
“Our goal is to mature the Triton UAS before supporting the Navy’s maritime [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] mission,” said Capt. Jim Hoke, programme manager for Triton . “The data we collect the next few years is essential to certify the system for operational use.”
The MQ-4C is a heavily modified version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, replacing the original surveillance equipment with an electronically-scanned maritime radar, amongst other things.