The IOC declaration comes three years after the MQ-4C Triton achieved early operational capability, the company said Thursday.
The unmanned aircraft is designed for high-altitude and high-endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It has an operating altitude that exceeds 50,000 feet and can sustain 24-hour missions covering four million nautical miles.
Northrop has so far delivered five Triton units to the Navy, some of which are deployed in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.
Commenting on the IOC designation, Rho Cauley Bruner, director of the Triton program at Northrop, said the unmanned aircraft’s sensor capabilities will now be available to military personnel for adversary detection and deterrence.
For his part, U.S. Navy Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program manager Capt. Josh Guerre underscored the value of global maritime awareness and cited Triton’s contribution to the military’s global operations and informed decision-making.