Australia commits to next generation Triton Remotely Piloted Aircraft

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

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Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927

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18 June 2020

Australia’s maritime approaches will be further strengthened with the purchase of an additional Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, bringing Australia’s Triton fleet to three. 

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Triton acquisition is an important part of protecting Australia’s borders and making the region more secure.  

“Once in service, this capability will significantly enhance our ability to persistently patrol Australia’s maritime approaches from the North, in the South West Pacific and down to Antarctica,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The fleet is being developed and purchased through a Cooperative Program with the US Navy. This Program strengthens our ability to develop advanced maritime surveillance capability and ensure our capabilities remain complementary with our security partners, while sharing in the benefits of their technical expertise and project costs. 

“Our membership of the Cooperative Program gives us the confidence to acquire our third Triton. We will continue to work closely with the United States to assure our future capability.

“Together we are developing this cutting edge military technology to the highest standards. This work will help ensure Australia’s maritime region is secure well into the future.” 

The US Navy’s Triton aircraft have commenced operations in our region and are already demonstrating their operational value. 

The project provides significant opportunities for Australian defence industry including the construction of facilities in South Australia and the Northern Territory, software integration, engineering, logistics and manufacturing of components.

“Over $475 million is set to be spent locally, with several Australian companies already completing Triton production work for Northrop Grumman Corporation,” Minister Reynolds said.

The Triton and P-8A Poseidon capabilities will operate in a complementary way to deliver a comprehensive Maritime Patrol and Response capability. 

Australia’s 12th Poseidon aircraft was delivered in December 2019. 

The Poseidon aircraft have since been deployed on several overseas operations and have performed to a very high standard. 

Triton and Poseidon will also provide support to national security response activities, both domestically and abroad.

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