23 May 2013
The Northrop Grumman-built MQ-4C Triton high-altitude unmanned aircraft successfully completed its first flight Wednesday from the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, CA. The MQ-4C Triton is being produced for U.S. Navy high-altitude maritime surveillance missions, and is designed to fly up to 24 hours and 11,500 miles without refueling. The aircraft is a heavily modified version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, and has a strengthened airframe and de-icing features that allow it to fly at altitudes nearly ten miles above sea level, giving it a 2,000-nautical-mile view of the ocean in every direction. The first flight is considered a major step in the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. (Image Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation)
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