Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has secured an $83.1m contract to retrofit two MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems and a main operating base to an integrated functional capability four, multiple-intelligence configuration. 

This strategic enhancement aims to bolster intelligence capabilities for both the US Navy and the government of Australia. The work is expected to conclude by June 2026, with funding allocated from 2023 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds and foreign cooperative funds. 

The aircraft can fly over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles. The system provides real-time ISR over ocean and coastal regions.

Northrop Grumman rolled out the first MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft system for the Royal Australian Air Force in September 2022. The production of Australia’s MQ-4C Triton UAS will be completed by 2023, with delivery of the UAS to the Royal Australian Air Force expected in 2024.

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With 20% of the North American military UAV market, Northrop Grumman is projected to be the second-largest shareholder in the region. The company is expected to garner business of $5.8 billion over the forecast period owing to its contracts for the MQ-4C Triton, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Military UAV Market 2022-2032” report.

In June 2023, the US Navy received its first MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial systems (UAS) contingent. Northup Grumman delivered four units to deploy for its global maritime intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

The Naval Air Systems Command, situated in Patuxent River, Maryland, oversees this contract as the contracting activity.

The retrofitting work will be carried out across various locations, with significant portions taking place in Chantilly, Virginia (4.6%), Hauppauge, New York (1.6%), Linthicum, Maryland (1.3%), Palmdale, California (49.6%), San Diego, California (39.5%), Waco, Texas (1.4%), and several other locations within the continental US (2%).

Funding for this initiative will come from fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement funds allocated by the Navy, amounting to $82.8m. Foreign cooperative funds totalling $300k will also be used, and these funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.