Northrop Grumman Australia has announced it has delivered the Network Integration Test Environment (NITE) capability for the MQ-4C Triton high-altitude maritime UAS to the ADF.
Located at RAAF Edinburgh, the company says NITE, “will support Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) to configure and test the array of Triton network interfaces and systems prior to the delivery of the first aircraft to Australia in 2023.” It says the system was delivered ahead of schedule, and is a key milestone in the Australian Triton program.
“This program will de-risk the first Triton aircraft arriving into Australia and leverage the expertise and lessons learned from Northrop Grumman and the US Navy,” Northrop Grumman Asia Pacific general manager, Christine Zeitz said in a company release. “We are establishing sovereign capability to support the Triton program which, once established, will revolutionise maritime ISR in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The NITE system is a follow-on from the company-funded mission system trainer (MST) which was installed at Edinburgh in 2016 and which was used to develop concepts of operation and requirements for the RAAF’s Triton program.
The RAAF currently has three Tritons on order – the first of which is in production – with up to seven air vehicles required to conduct maritime ISR operations in the Indo-Pacific region. The capability will be home-based at Edinburgh, with air vehicle forward deployed from RAAF Tindal in the Northern Territory, and at other locations.