In Focus

Profile: MQ-4C Triton

A file image of a Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton in Australian Defence Force colours. (Defence)
A file image of a Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton in Australian Defence Force colours. (Defence)

Amid the rising defence drone revolution, it is no surprise the RAAF purchased the MQ-4C Triton, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), high altitude, long endurance (HALE), which will be essential for next generation maritime and surveillance roles. While none have been delivered to the RAAF yet, the aircraft will be based at the RAAF Base Edinburgh and will operate alongside the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that are replacing the AP-3C Orions. 

A core reason the drones were purchased is because they can extend air power to cover distant and remote operating areas, where no significant air power exists. The Triton will provide fifth generation agility to be flexible, easily adjusted for mission needs and will always maintain an operational advantage to counter unexpected changes – or at least what the Australian Defence Force hopes for these powerful drones. 

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