U.S. unveils first MQ-4C BAMS unmanned aircraft

Listen to our latest Podcast, we knew it was called Triton on Wednesday ;-)

U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation unveiled the first U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) at a ceremony Thursday.

In keeping with the tradition of naming surveillance aircraft after Greek sea gods, the Navy released the MQ-4C’s name at the ceremony as “Triton,” the ancient Greek messenger of the sea.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft is “a key element of the BAMS UAS program, representing the future of naval aviation and a strategic element of the U.S. Navy,” Duke Dufresne, vice president of the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector and general manager for unmanned systems, said in a news release.

With a 39.9-meter wingspan, the MQ-4C has an operational ceiling of 18.29 km and can operate uninterrupted for 24 hours.

The unmanned aircraft features an AN/ZPY-3 multi-function active sensor radar system, which enables the Triton to cover more than 6.99 million square km in a single Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance mission.

BAMS UAS is a versatile maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system designed to support a variety of missions while operating independently or in direct collaboration with fleet assets.

The unveiling ceremony came just several days after a BAMS demonstrator aircraft crashed during a test flight in Maryland.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/15/c_131655930.htm