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US Navy Tests Upgraded MQ-4C Triton Drone

The US Navy recently conducted its first test flight of the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with newly upgraded hardware and software.

In its July 29 test flight at the NAS Patuxent River, MD, the drone flew with the Integrated Functional Capability-4, an enhanced multi-mission sensor capability.

This UAV upgrade is part of the navy’s Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting transition plan.

The MQ-4C Triton

Triton’s Integrated Test Team (ITT) test team reported the MQ-4C Triton showed stability when controlled.

“Today’s flight is a significant milestone for the program and a testament to the resolve of the entire ITT, their hard work, and passion for test execution and program success,” said Capt. Dan Mackin, Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program manager.

“This flight proves that the program is making significant progress toward Triton’s advanced multi-intelligence upgrade and it brings us closer to achieving the initial operational capability milestone.”

The Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19) has been tasked with further work on the MQ-4C under its new configurations, while two other unmodified MQ-C4 units have been deployed to the 7th Fleet and Commander Task Force (CTF)-72.

The MQ-C4 Triton is manufactured by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy to “support a wide range of missions including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay.”

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