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Australia’s is enhancing its maritime capabilities, with the purchase of the first of six MQ-4C Triton UAVs via a cooperative program with the US Navy. The Triton UAV is expected to support the surveillance activities of Australia’s P-8A Poseidon military aircraft through sustained operations at long ranges. It will also be capable of carrying out a wide range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks in order to enhance the security of the country’s maritime borders.
Both Triton and Poseidon are expected to assist Australia in improving its anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike, and search and rescue capabilities as part of the initiative, according to naval-technology.com.
The Triton UAV is based on the legacy Global Hawk UAS. It is integrated with a reinforced airframe for increased internal payload, as well as highly durable wings for improved hail, bird strike and gust load protection.
The UAV units are also equipped with de-icing and lightning protection systems.
The first MQ-4C Triton UAV will be operated by RAAF and is currently scheduled to be launched in mid-2023.
All six of the aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia. They are planned to be operational by late-2025.