Germany has cancelled plans to acquire the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned high altitude long endurance maritime ISR system due to reported concerns over the aircraft’s ability to operate safely in European airspace.
Germany was approved by the US State Department in April 2018 to acquire four Tritons for the signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission. According to a report in DefenseNews, Germany will instead acquire manned sensor platforms to conduct the overwater ISR mission, possibly based on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet.
The cancellation is the second for a Global Hawk derivative by Germany, the first being the Block 30-based RQ-4E EuroHawk system which was designed to employ an indigenous SIGINT package in underwing pods, but which was cancelled in 2013 due to certification and airspace integration issues.
The US Navy has a program of record for 68 Tritons to based at five locations around the globe, while Australia has two Triton systems on order from a requirement of six.