Northrop Grumman has announced it has delivered the MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime ISR air vehicle with the Multi-INT signals intelligence package installed.
The delivery of air vehicle ‘B8’ on February 1 follows the first flight of a Multi-INT configured Triton last July. Known as Integrated Functional Capability (IFC)-4, the latest configuration will be the one the US Navy plans to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC) with in 2023, and which all of the RAAF’s planned six MQ-4Cs will be configured as.
The highly-capable Multi-INT package has been developed in conjunction with the RAAF as part of a cooperative development program, and is described as a robust sensor suite that includes next-generation communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and signals intelligence capabilities.
Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract by the US Navy to integrate the Multi-INT package with Triton in 2019. IFC-4 MQ-4Cs will replace the Lockheed EP-3E Aries in US Navy service, and the AP-3C EW Orion in the RAAF.
Northrop Grumman has already delivered a small number of test and operational MQ-4Cs in the initial IFC-3 configuration, two of which were forward deployed to Andersen AFB on Guam for nearly two years in support of the US Navy’s 7th fleet as part of a reportedly successful early operational capability (EOC).
The wing and fuselage of the RAAF’s first MQ-4C were joined at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale facility In December, and the first RAAF air vehicle is scheduled to be delivered in 2023.