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MQ-4C Triton support to Poseidons

Canberra has confirmed its long-planned acquisition of six Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft in order to complement the surveillance role of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “The Triton will complement the surveillance role of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft through sustained operations at long ranges as well as being able to undertake a range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.”

The initial $1 billion deal includes one MQ-4C, as well as a $180 million programme with the US Navy for development, production, and sustainment of the aircraft.

The Royal Australian Air Force has seven Poseidon P-8 in its fleet now, and will have its full complement of 12 by 2022.

The first UAV will enter Australian service in mid-2023, with all six to be delivered and in operation by late 2025, based at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia.

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