Adelaide will be the centre of Australia’s new unmanned aerial vehicle fleet, complementing the nation’s new fleet of P-8A Poseidon aircraft for maritime surveillance, based at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
The Australian Government has committed to acquiring six MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles subject to the successful completion of a United States Navy development program. Built by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy, the Triton concept came out of a joint US/Australian trial of the global Hawk unmanned aircraft system in South Australia in 2001.
The Tritons will not only provide South Australian industry with sustainment opportunities, but also foster a centre of excellence in unmanned aerial systems technology, bringing together world-leading companies, universities and defence organisations focused on maximising the new capability. South Australia will also be home to the Tritons’ ground control station, which controls their flight and operations, and processes, evaluates and disseminates the surveillance data collected.