This Is The New Spy Plane Of The US Navy

The US Navy just got a new spy plane. It name is MQ-4C Triton, and it has been created by Northrop Grumman for "maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance data collection and dissemination capability to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force."

The Navy says that their new drone will be used for sea "surveillance, collection of enemy order of battle information, battle damage assessment, port surveillance, communication relay, and support of the following missions -- maritime interdiction, surface warfare, battlespace management and targeting for maritime and littoral strike missions."

If it looks familiar is because it is based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Like its US Air Force sibling, these things are really huge, with a 40m wingspan. They are long-range too: Northrop Grumman claims that it can do "large maritime distances for long periods of time for up to five simultaneous orbits worldwide."

The only think that puzzles me is that the Navy is getting them just after the USAF announced that they are mothballing all its Global Hawk fleet, citing cost problems and less than optimal results.

Perhaps the difference is that the new Triton comes with the AN/ZPY-3 multi-function active-sensor, a completely new 360 degree radar system that is supposed to be much better than the sensors in the Global Hawk. [US Navy]


    There is something inherintly creepy about aerial drones, but am I the only one who thinks they look extra creepy because they have no windows?
    It's like looking at a face with no eyes or mouth. :/

    Five simultaneous orbits of the planet? This thing is good if it can be in five different places at once!

    What governments say, and what governments CAN be very different at times. What's the bet they've shelved these in favour of those stealth drones?

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks like an over-sized vibrator?

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