by Geoff Ziezulewicz
Patuxent River, Md. (UPI) Sep 23, 2016
The U.S. Navy has approved production of the MQ-4C Triton drone, the service announced Thursday.
The decision allows the program to enter low-rate initial production, the first piece of the production and deployment phase, the service said in a statement.
Triton's sensor package will provide persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection and dissemination.
It will be a forward-deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides services within a 2,000 nautical mile range.
It is scheduled to deploy in Fiscal 2018.
The program calls for 68 aircraft, built by Northrop Grumman, to be fielded.
Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe for increased internal payload and reinforced wing for hail, bird strike and gust load protection, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems, allowing the drone to descend and ascend through harsh maritime weather environments.
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