Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have reached the halfway point of testing work on the company’s Triton unmanned aerial system nearly eight months after the drone completed its first flight.
Testers have flown Triton for up to 9.4 hours at a time on one mission and have sent the UAS into altitudes of up to 50,000 feet during the envelope expansion efforts, Northrop said Monday.
Envelope expansion covers evaluations of how Triton works at different altitudes, speeds and weights.
“Completion of envelope expansion will allow the test team to prepare for installation and further testing of Triton’s surveillance sensors,” said Mike Mackey, Triton program director at Northrop.
The Navy plans to field 68 Triton UAS and use them with the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for surveillance missions.