Mark Ayton visited the MQ-4C Triton Integrated Test Team at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, to learn about this fascinating unmanned aerial system
Located in a purpose-built facility on board Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the Triton Integrated Test Team (ITT) is equipped with three air vehicles, a hangar wide enough to house three MQ-4Cs wingtip to wingtip (an MQ-4C packs a 130.9ft wingspan) and the different types of control station required for its ongoing flight test programme, including those to be used at forward operating sites.
There are many fascinating aspects to the MQ-4C Triton and its missions. Based on the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, the MQ-4C looks very similar: but looks can deceive. Under the skin, the MQ-4C has strengthened wing structures and an anti-ice and de-icing system, and a suite of systems all of which make the Navy variant different from its Air Force brethren.