May 23 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has received a $49.4 million contract for parts, material and labor required for the maintenance of the MQ-4C unmanned aircraft system in accordance with planned production, the Department of Defense reported Monday.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, Md., Bridgeport, W. VA., Salt Lake City, Utah, and other locations in the United States. Fiscal 2017 Navy procurement funds in the amount of $49.4 million have been allocated for the program. The contract was non-competitive.
The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System, or UAS -- more commonly known as a drone -- is based on the Global Hawk system. It features autonomous operations while being monitored by land-based sensor and command-and-control operators.
The drone has a sensor suite capable of 360-degree coverage, allowing long-range maritime coverage. It provides the Navy with intelligence, signals interceptions and reconnaissance capabilities, and can also serve as a communications relay.
The MQ-4C UAV has a reinforced airframe and systems that protect it from bird strikes, lightning and harsh weather, allowing it to operate in severe ocean environments. The drone has 24-hour endurance and a range of more than 9,400 miles. 68 are planned to be fielded.