U.S. Navy Starts Run-Up To First MQ-4C Flight

By Guy Norris .
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology .

Maritime patrol is a mission as old as the naval service, but with the advent of the unmanned MQ-4C Triton, the seagoing version of the Global Hawk, the U.S. Navy plans to elevate this definition to an entirely new level. The move to unmanned air systems (UAS) for the yeoman's work of long-range surveillance is part of a two-pronged transformational strategy that includes replacing aging P-3 patrol aircraft with the Boeing P-8A. However, as the apparently still unexplained crash of a maritime Global Hawk demonstrator just three days before the June 14 Triton roll-out shows, the transition remains more challenging than the basic development of a new concept of operations ...

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