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US unveils surveillance aircraft

Last Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 00:10

Los Angeles: The US has unveiled a high-tech unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft.

In keeping with the tradition of naming surveillance aircraft after Greek sea gods, the Navy released the MQ-4C`s name at Thursday`s ceremony as "Triton", the ancient Greek messenger of the sea, Xinhua reported.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft is "a key element of the BAMS UAS program (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System), representing the future of naval aviation," Duke Dufresne, vice president of the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector and general manager for unmanned systems, said in a press release.

With a 39.9-meter wingspan, the MQ-4C has an operational ceiling of 18.29 km and can operate uninterrupted for 24 hours.

The aircraft features an active sensor radar system, which enables the Triton to cover about seven million sq km in a single intelligence surveillance mission.

BAMS UAS is a versatile maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system designed to support a variety of missions while operating independently or in direct collaboration with fleet assets.

The unveiling ceremony came just several days after a BAMS demonstrator aircraft crashed during a test flight in Maryland.


First Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 00:10
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