Northrop Grumman, Andoya Space Partner to Offer MQ-4C Triton UAS for Norway's High North Surveillance Needs

MoU Signed to Jointly Provide Triton to Royal Norwegian Air Force as per Country's Long Term Defence Plan
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  • 07:09 AM, May 29, 2024
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Northrop Grumman, Andoya Space Partner to Offer MQ-4C Triton UAS for Norway's High North Surveillance Needs
MQ-4C Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman and Andøya Space have entered a partnership aimed at addressing Norway's surveillance requirements in the High North through the MQ-4C Triton UAS.

The collaboration, solidified by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on May 28, underscores the joint effort to offer Triton capabilities to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

Norway's strategic vision, outlined in its Long Term Defence Plan unveiled on April 5, 2024, emphasizes the procurement of long-range drones equipped with sensors and monitoring systems tailored for maritime surveillance in northern regions, in cooperation with allied nations. Media sources in Norway have indicated ongoing discussions between Norwegian officials and the U.S. Navy regarding the potential acquisition of the MQ-4C Triton to fulfill this specific mandate.

In 2022, the U.S. Navy announced a reduction in its Triton order from 70 airframes to 27, aimed at maintaining three operational orbits instead of the initially planned five. The acquisition timeline suggests the completion of Triton purchases by the end of the 2024 U.S. fiscal year in September, pending approval of President Biden's budget request for the subsequent fiscal year.

Having achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in September 2023, the MQ-4C Triton has been deployed to strategic locations such as Guam and the Mediterranean, with plans for deployment to Japan underway. Meanwhile, Australia's inaugural Triton flight in November of the preceding year anticipates its arrival at RAAF Tindal by mid-2024, further illustrating the global expansion of Triton operations and capabilities.

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