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Rolls-Royce AE 3007 powers first flight of US Navy's Triton UAV

23 May 2013

The US Navy has achieved the first flight of the Northrop Grumman Corporation-built MQ-4C Triton aircraft, powered by a Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engine.

The Northrop Grumman Corporation-built MQ-4C Triton aircraft takes to the skies above California
The Northrop Grumman Corporation-built MQ-4C Triton aircraft takes to the skies above California

Triton, a high-altitude, unmanned aircraft, is specially designed to fly surveillance missions of up to 24 hours at altitudes of over 10 miles, allowing coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles. The aircraft's advanced suite of sensors can detect and automatically classify different types of ships.

The AE 3007 provides the fuel efficiency required as well as the electrical power necessary for the Triton to undertake these tasks.

The first flight was conducted on  Wednesday (May 22) at Northrop Grumman's manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California.

The Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engine also powers the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, another high-altitude, unmanned aircraft, as well as various corporate and regional jets. This engine range recently topped 50 million flight hours.

Triton carries a variety of ISR sensor payloads that allow military commanders to gather high-resolution imagery, use radar to detect targets, and provide airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units over long distances.

At 130.9 feet, Triton has a wingspan larger than many commercial airliners. Thanks to the efficient Rolls-Royce engine and other aerodynamic design features, the aircraft can fly 11,500 miles without refuelling.

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