Adelaide will be the centre of Australia’s strategic 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 three MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles, with the first aircraft rolled out at the manufacturing facility in Palmdale California in September 22. Built by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy in partnership with RAAF, the Triton concept came out of a joint US/Australian trial of the global Hawk unmanned aircraft system in South Australia in 2001.
The TRITON will 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 be home to the Tritons’ ground control station, which controls their flight and operations, and processes, evaluates and disseminates the surveillance data collected and is a key component of the Information Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) precinct under development at RAAF Edinburgh. The first aircraft will be delivered to RAAF in 2024.