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Northrop Grumman Links Drones and Ships

211216-N-QI061-1222 NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (December 16, 2021) An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), sits on the flight line at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Dec. 16, 2021. VUP-19, the Navy’s first Triton squadron, will continue to maintain and operate the aircraft off the East Coast to further develop the concept of operations and refine tactics, techniques, and procedures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan T. Beard/ Released)

Northrop Grumman announced that it was able to share information between warplanes and warships with a high-flying surveillance drone in a flight test.

Company executives said in a statement on Feb. 13: “The successful October trial demonstrated the ability to connect airborne military assets to those at sea, which is an important step forward for future US Navy operations.

According to the news of DefenseNews, the test; The MQ-4C Triton drone includes a handful of simulated battlefield players such as the F-35, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and Aegis-class destroyers. Using the gateway connected to Triton’s onboard radar and artificial intelligence, the drone transmitted sensor data to platforms the company previously billed as disconnected platforms. Such thinking is at the heart of the US Department of Defence’s campaign to connect everything-everywhere, known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

“This powerful combination expands the mission set of naval platforms to deliver a seamlessly connected fleet,” said Ben Davies, Vice President and General Manager of Network-Information Solutions, Northrop.

The gateway deployed on the Triton drone augments its data sharing capabilities and is expected to help connect forces dispersed in the Indo-Pacific or other water areas in the long run.

Jane Bishop, Vice President and General Manager of Global Surveillance, Northrop, said: “The Triton’s altitude, persistence and robust communications links make it an ideal candidate to host the gateway system. This demonstration demonstrates the F-35’s powerful sensor package and Highlights gateway technology enhancements for Triton that will enable information dominance over distributed naval assets, including access to E-2D’s combat management capabilities.”

The show also featured Naval Air Systems Command, Pacific Naval Information Warfare Centre and BAE Systems.

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