May 24, 2024

MQ-4C Tritons Coming to PAX

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MQ-4C Triton unmanned test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif. will fly cross-country to NAS Pax River this fall, according to NAVAIR News. The MQ-4C completed a test flight last week with updated software that enables additional beyond-line-of-sight communication capabilities. This test marked the first time Pax River’s Navy System Integration Lab took control of the flight and landed the aircraft in Palmdale. It was also the first time the aircraft used a wide band satellite communications command and control link, which allows for rapid transmission of data.

A Chinese fighter jet flew within 30 feet of a Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance plane last week in international airspace off the Chinese coast, reports The New York Times. The episode began with the Chinese warplane flying closely underneath the Navy aircraft. It then moved parallel to the naval plane, with the wingtips of the two aircraft separated by less than 30 feet and then executed a barrel roll, apparently to show off its weapons payload to the American pilot. The DoD filed a diplomatic complaint with the People’s Liberation Army on Friday morning.

The University of Maryland’s engineering school is examining how unmanned aircraft can be used for the benefit of Maryland and to improve civilian lives, reports The Diamondback. The school recently opened a UAV test site located on the St. Mary’s County technology corridor near NAS Pax River.

DoD officials spoke less about sequestration in recent months and more about immediate plans because Congress agreed on a budget plan for 2014 and 2015. But now sequestration fears have returned as the Pentagon turns to 2016 budget planning, reports DefenseNews.

Maryland should be careful about interfering in the development of the controversial Somerset County wind farm, opines delmarvanow. The editorial was sparked by Senator Barbara Mikulski’s non-binding language addition to the DoD Appropriations Act of 2015 that would forbid the US Navy from entering into any agreements with wind farm developers until an MIT study is completed. The news outlet believes that, “killing this project without clear evidence its negative effects will outweigh the positives sends a chilling message to other companies pondering investment in our state.”

Thirty-four sailors are being booted from the Navy for their participation in a cheating ring that operated for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site, reports the AP. The instructors and students are not involved in handling nuclear weapons.

Raytheon received an $11 million Office of Naval Research contract to develop a vehicle-mounted laser that could be used to shoot down some unmanned aerial vehicles, reports C4ISR&Networks.

The partnership between Fleet Readiness Center Southeast and Pratt & Whitney United Technologies Company to repair EA-6B “Prowler” aircraft J52 engine components officially came to a close during a recent presentation ceremony, according to NAVAIR News. The Navy is scheduled to transition to the follow-on EA-18G “Growler” in 2015, and the Marine Corps will continue to fly the aircraft until its final sundown in 2019.

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