Navy Orders Two MQ-4C Triton UAVs Plus Operating Base

A U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) lands at Andersen Air Force Base for a deployment as part of an early operational capability (EOC) test. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has ordered another two MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles from Northrop Grumman Corp. 

According to a Feb. 6 Defense Department contract announcement, Naval Air Systems Command awarded a $172.4 million contract modification for the two UAVs, with the funding included for a main operation base, trade studies and associated technical and administrative data. 

The two Tritons are authorized and funded by the 2020 budget. 

Last month, the Navy’s Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the Navy’s first Triton UAS squadron, deployed two MQ-4Cs to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to establish an early operational capability in the western Pacific Ocean. 

The Triton eventually will achieve initial operational capability when a total of four MQ-4Cs are deployed to a single site to establish a 24/7 orbit over the western Pacific area of operations.