How the U.S. Navy Plans to Win the Next Big War at Sea

Kris Osborn The Navy and Northrop Grumman are updating software and sensors on a new high-tech, autonomous maritime drone designed to identify and zero in on enemy ship targets at sea, service and industry officials said.

The Navy’s Triton autonomous drone, called the MQ-4C, is now receiving a "3.1 software" integration as part of a technical plan for the aircraft to be operational by 2018. The first Tritons are slated to deliver sometime later this year, developers said.

"3.1 software gets you to the point where you can use the sensors in an operational environment," Tom Twomey, senior manager business development, Triton, Northrop Grumman, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

The sensor package being designed for the aircraft includes what the Navy calls a multi-function array sensor, or MFAS.

The Triton’s electronics include an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a 360-degree active electronically scanned array radar and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), among other things, Navy developers have said. The sensors create a common operational maritime picture including images, data and full-motion video. An electronic support measure is also able to detect maritime signals. Sponsored Ellen Shocks LGBT Community & Confirms She Is Moving On

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