A possible two-year pause in production of Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has resulted in the US company offering Australia accelerated acquisition and significant savings should it quickly finalise its six-platform requirement.
It has also led to confirmation by Chris Deeble, CEO of Northrop Grumman Australia, that the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is concerned about the further commitment of the US Navy (USN) to the Triton programme.
In June 2018 then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Australia would acquire six MQ-4Cs under Project Air 7000 Phase 1B, with the first platform scheduled to enter service in mid-2023 and all six Tritons planned to be fully operational by late 2025.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to Jane’s unrivalled data and insight, learn more about our subscription options at janes.com/products