Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The cost to develop the Triton unmanned reconnaissance plane for the Navy has increased at least 25 percent, or $720 million, according to Navy estimates and congressional investigators. The scheduled dates to begin production and deployment of the Northrop Grumman-built drone have each slipped more than two years. The Navy plans to buy some 70 of the MQ-4 Tritons, based on the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The projected start of initial production has been delayed by 31 months to December 2015. The target date to declare an initial squadron of the drones ready for combat has slipped to April 2018. The projected start of full-rate production has slipped to January 2018 from December 2015. (Source: Bloomberg, 07/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Central fuselage work on the Triton is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.