The Naval Sir Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Northrop Grumman [NOC] a $255 million modification to produce three Lot 3 low-rate initial production (LRIP) MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Dec. 28.

The Triton is planned to be the Navy’s unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft.

Northrop Grumman delivered the first operational Triton in November at the U.S. Navy’s Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu facility. Point Mugu houses a maintenance detachment that will prepare the first two operational Tritons for use in Guam, set for 2018. The company expects to eventually deliver a total of 68 aircraft to the Navy.

In April 2017, NAVAIR awarded Northrop Grumman a $304 million modification to produce three LRIP Lot 2 Tritons with control stations and tooling.

This newest Triton contract also covers trade studies and tooling in support of the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office. The contract work is expected to be finished by December 2021.