03 Jul 2018

Australia DoD makes Triton Aircraft System purchase

The Australian Department of Defence has bought Northrop Grumman’s Triton unmanned aircraft system as part of a AUD $1.4 billion deal.

Built for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Triton will outfit the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with autonomous capabilities. This is the first Northrop Grumman aircraft systems to be purchase by Australia.

Triton can soar to altitudes of 55,000 feet for 24 hours at a time and comes equipped with sensors that provide high-resolution imagery and near real-time video. Pilots and sensor operators fly the Triton from ground stations, which can command flights all over the world.

According to Doug Shaffer, Vice President of the Triton programme at Northrop Grumman: “Australia has one of the largest sea zones in the world over which it has rights to use marine resources, also known as an Economic Exclusion Zone. As a flexible platform, Triton can serve in missions as varied as maritime domain awareness, target acquisition, fisheries protection, oil field monitoring and humanitarian relief.”

Northrop Grumman has built up a presence Down Under for many years. They will be the anchor tenant for an AUD $50 million Electronic Sustainment Centre of Excellence at the Badgerys Creek Airport precinct in Western Sydney. The new centre will support advanced electronics such as communications and electronic warfare equipment, and targeting pods.

Thanks to a Global Supply Chain Deed signed with the Australian Department of Defence in 2011 and renewed in 2017, Northrop Grumman is also identifying opportunities for Australian industry to be part of the company’s global supply chain.

Ian Irving, Chief Executive Officer of Northrop Grumman Australia concluded: “Australia and the United States are celebrating 100 Years of Mateship this year, marking an alliance that goes back to the trenches of WWI. Northrop Grumman is proud to partner with such a loyal friend and provide this unprecedented capability to the RAAF. We consider Triton and its autonomous technology to be the future of the next centennial of aviation, and we are honoured to be part of this century-long partnership.”

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