Northrop Grumman Corporation’s MQ-4C Triton flying test bed (FTB) recently completed a demonstration of persistent long-range targeting during this year’s Northern Edge 2023 military training exercise.
Conducted around the Gulf of Alaska, this demonstration highlighted Triton’s potential to enhance joint, distributed maritime operations, and further support sea-control in contested environments. Triton is preparing for initial operational capability (IOC) later this year.
“Northern Edge strengthens the readiness and operational capabilities of joint forces so the ability to test and demonstrate critical long-range targeting capabilities with Triton helps ensure we’re ready to effectively operate and respond to contingencies in the Pacific or anywhere in the world,” said Capt Josh Guerre, Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems programme manager in a June 15 press release.
The Triton FTB exercise scenarios, executed during multiple flights over seven days, focused on tasking, collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination of information to help maintain a robust common operating picture.
During the exercise, the Triton FTB tracked and monitored all maritime traffic within its broad visual field. Upon receipt of the data, ground operators at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage were able to process and disseminate the Gulf of Alaska maritime common operating picture to command and control units using Triton’s Minotaur mission interface.
“Northern Edge helps the joint force integrate platforms like Triton to outpace emerging threats,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, global surveillance, Northrop Grumman. “Testing and demonstrating Triton’s developing technologies, along with its unprecedented maritime multi-intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capability, helps ensure our warfighters can prevail in complex environments.”
The exercise showcased Triton’s developing technologies involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge processing and enhanced communications.
Triton’s participation in Northern Edge was executed in collaboration with the US Navy’s Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Programme Office (PMA-262) as well as operational commands. –ng/adj/mhi (Pix: Northrop Grumman)