(U.S. Navy photo by Kelly Schindler/Released)
The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system approaches the runway at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., after completing its inaugural cross-country flight from California. The Navy will conduct Triton flight tests at Patuxent River in preparation for an operational deployment in 2017.
The Triton unmanned aircraft system completes its first flight May 22, 2013, from the Northrop Grumman manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. The 80-minute flight successfully demonstrated control systems that allow Triton to operate autonomously. Triton is designed to fly surveillance missions up to 24 hours at altitudes of more than 10 miles, allowing coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles. The system’s advanced suite of sensors can detect and automatically classify different types of ships.