Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Complete Initial Flight Tests on MQ-4C Triton Drone
March 25, 2014 8:50 AM
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Initial flight tests clear the way for new tests for Triton
The U.S. military is quickly ramping up its use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to not only save costs, but to also
put fewer pilots in harm’s way
. The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have announced that they have completed initial flight testing on the MQ-4C Triton UAV, which can be configured for multiple intelligence, surveillance, and recon sensor payloads.
The Triton has completed thirteen test flights since it first took to the sky back in May; the longest of which was 81 hours.
The aircraft can now fly at various altitudes (the UAV reached 59,950 feet over the course of testing), speeds, and weights. The initial stages of flight-testing validated over 568 test points according to Northrop Grumman.
The Triton test aircraft will be taken to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, where the aircraft sensor suite will be installed and flight-tested for validation of the capabilities of the aircraft.
The Navy has requested 68 Triton aircraft to add to its fleet.
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RE: Shouldn't take long
3/25/2014 1:53:38 PM
Hopefully they've also worked out any bugs that were allowing GPS spoofing and communications problems in the past? Sort of sucks, as the advantage of a RPA (no pilot) is pretty much immediately lost, when you lose the aircraft to something so seemingly simple.
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