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Northrop Grumman Expands Australia MQ-4C Triton Team

Australia’s first multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton takes to the skies for the first time over California, November 2023 [© Northrop Grumman]

Northrop Grumman has signed a contract with L3Harris Corporation for Australia’s MQ-4C Triton fleet C&C systems operations and maintenance.

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Press Release, Brisbane, 16 April 2024: Northrop Grumman Australia has signed a contract with L3Harris Corporation (L3HCA) for the operation and maintenance of command-and-control systems aboard Australia’s MQ-4C Triton multi-intelligence uncrewed aircraft fleet. The collaboration is another milestone in advance of delivery of the platform to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

  • As prime systems integrator on Triton, Northrop Grumman has collaborated with several suppliers to integrate and maintain key systems and technologies on the platform to provide the capabilities required by the RAAF.
  • The Interim Sustainment Support Contract covers maintenance of the Triton’s Wideband Command, Control and Communications (C3) Subsystem, which was developed by L3HCA.
  • Starting this month, L3HCA will provide seven communications technicians and field service representatives to work with the Northrop Grumman team.

Christine Zeitz, chief executive and general manager, Australia & New Zealand, Northrop Grumman: “L3Harris will support Triton’s wideband C3 functionality as we work collectively to deliver next-generation technology solutions that will help keep Australia safe.”

Andrew Rushbrook, managing director, L3Harris Communications Australia Pty Ltd, and regional vice president, L3Harris Tactical Communications: “L3Harris is delighted to be working with Northrop Grumman Australia to deliver this critical capability to the Commonwealth. Our wideband C3 solution for Australia’s MQ-4C Triton will help establish a world-class sovereign capability.”

Details on Triton: Built for the US Navy and RAAF, the multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton supports a wide range of missions including maritime patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay. These aircraft provide commanders with persistent surveillance for the prediction of an adversary’s behaviour, enabling better planning and enhancing joint military responses.

Northrop Grumman successfully completed the first flight of Australia’s MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft at its Palmdale facility in California in November 2023. The flight marks a major production milestone as Northrop Grumman progresses toward delivery of Australia’s first Triton in 2024. All four Australian Tritons currently under contract are progressing as planned through their production schedules.

Northrop Grumman is establishing a dynamic support environment for the progressive delivery of the Triton systems into Australia. This includes establishing ground stations at RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia and facilitating air vehicles into RAAF Tindal, Northern Territory. The company is building a highly qualified Australian workforce across both locations, leveraging extensive knowledge and experience gained supporting US Navy Triton operations.

Australia is part of the Triton cooperative programme and is helping shape the requirements of the system. Together, US and Australian defence forces will share data collected by their respective Tritons.

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