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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Could Triton lead drones into civil airspace?

MQ-4C TritonThe U.S. Navy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime patrol drone is helping to pioneer the ability of unmanned aircraft to sense and avoid nearby airplanes autonomously to avoid mid-air collisions and other complications of aircraft flying in close proximity.

The Navy last week awarded a $39.1 million contract to Northrop Grumman, the Triton's designer, to make enhancements to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) air-to-air radar system in preparation for production decisions over the next few years.

The Navy and Northrop Grumman are developing the MQ-4C Triton, also called the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV, to fly maritime surveillance missions for as long as 24 hours at altitudes of more than 10 miles to enable coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles.

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