The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman [NOC] a $248 million modification to procure two more low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 5 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The Navy is procuring the Triton  to provide high-altitude, long-endurance maritime ISR capabilities to complement the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. 

“The Triton system provides persistent ISR and unparalleled situational awareness of the maritime battle space to the supported combatant commander and fleet commander. The system also serves as a Fleet response plan enabler with a persistent, global force offering to provide critical trip wire information for intelligence preparation of the environment,” the Navy said in the FY 2023 budget request documents.

Work under this contract will be split among San Diego (25 percent); Palmdale, Calif. (15 percent); Red Oak, Texas (11.6 percent); Baltimore (10 percent); Moss Point, Miss., (eight percent); and various other locations in the U.S. and is expected to be finished by February 2027.

The company delivered the first Triton featuring the latest Integrated Functional Capability (IFC)-4 multi-intelligence configuration in February (Defense Daily, Feb. 2).

Two MQ-4Cs in the earlier baseline IFC-3 configuration are forward deployed to the 7th Fleet, based in Guam. The aircraft first arrived in early 2020 as part of the aircraft’s early operational capability with the first MQ-4C squadron, Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)-19 (Defense Daily, Jan. 27, 2020).

The Navy’s FY 2023 budget request seeks $663 million to procure three more MQ-4Cs. The service plans to ultimately procure 68 Tritons.