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RAAF supports standing up of Triton capability on Guam

The planned deployment of new IFC-4 configuration Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Tritons on Guam is expected to improve Australia's ability to develop advanced capabilities for its own Triton fleet. This photo features an earlier IFC-3 configuration MQ-4C on Guam in 2020. (US Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael S Murphy)

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is to receive forward operating base (FOB) equipment for its on-order Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton fleet at the end of 2023. As it prepares to receive the equipment, the RAAF has been supporting the standing up of the US Navy's (USN's) MQ-4C capability on Guam.

The US Air Force (USAF) said in mid-April that RAAF personnel worked with the USAF and the USN to facilitate a “shipment of forward operating base (FOB) equipment and a Mobile Remote Quick Look (RQL) trailer to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam”. The new equipment will support MQ-4C operations with the more advanced Integrated Functional Capability-4 (IFC-4) Multi-Intelligence (Multi-INT) configuration, according to Rho Cauley-Bruner, director of the Triton programme at Northrop Grumman.

“Previous operations to date have been in support of Early Operational Capability (EOC) in the legacy IFC-3 configuration,” Cauley-Bruner told Janes . “This latest shipment of equipment to Guam is in support of Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of the enhanced IFC-4 Multi-INT configuration.”

Janes assesses that the RAAF's participation in the standing up of the capability will improve its ability to absorb on-order Tritons. A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 28 April that the RAAF's involvement is because of its role as a partner in the MQ-4C Triton Cooperative Program.

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