Multi-intelligence version of the MQ-4C drone flies for first time

A Northrop Grumann MQ-4C Triton drone equipped with a highly upgraded multi-intelligence package, called Integrated Functional Capability Four (IFC-4), has taken to the air for the first time. The turbofan-powered robotic aircraft in its new configuration is being developed by the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force for advanced long-endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Since its first test flight in 2013, the subsonic Triton drone has grown in capabilities that have transformed it from an airframe for occasional surveillance duty to a semi-autonomous platform that a Northrop Grumman spokesperson has described as being on the verge of completely revolutionizing how the US Navy and the RAAF carry out maritime patrols and reconnaissance.

In its latest configuration, the MQ-4C Triton combines its High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) capabilities with multi-intelligence systems that bring to bear state-of-the-art radar and other sensors as well as…