|Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton. Photo: Northrop Grumman|
[Avionics Today 07-31-2015] Northrop Grumman has awarded a contract for the U.S. Navy's MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) initial production lot to Ferra Engineering, becoming the first Australian supplier. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components.
Northrop Grumman's engagement with Ferra Engineering was facilitated through the Australian Department of Defense's Global Supply Chain program in which international companies, such as Northrop Grumman, can assess Australian industry and provide them the opportunity to compete for business around the world on a value-for-money basis.
In March 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Australian government's intent to purchase the Triton UAS for high-altitude, long-endurance surveillance missions. Triton can fly missions for 24 hours at altitudes of more than 55,000 feet to cover vast areas of ocean and coastal regions. Its sensor suite provides a continuous on-station presence in a 360-degree field of view.