> our title:

Germany to Buy Four MQ-9 Triton for $2.5 Billion

> original title:

Germany – MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Apr. 5, 2018)

After having canceled the EuroHawk unmanned aircraft system in 2014 because it could not fly in unsegregated airspace, Germany has now decided to buy four modified Triton naval variants for $2.5 billion. (Airbus DS photo)

WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Germany of MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for an estimated cost of $2.5 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Apr. 4, 2018.

The Government of Germany has requested to buy:

-- four (4) MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS),
-- one (1) Mission Control Station (MCS) comprised of one (1) Main Operating Base (MOB) (MD-3A) and one (1) Forward Operating Base (FOB) (MD-3B),
-- ten (10) Kearfott Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS), units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares), and
-- ten (10) LN-251 INS/GPS units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares).

This proposed MQ-4C UAS sale will be a modified version of the USN Triton configuration. (Emphasis added—Ed.)

Also included is one Rolls Royce Engine (spare), communication equipment, support equipment, mission planning element to include Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) Global Positioning System (GPS) items, Communications Security (COMSEC) equipment, mapping, training, support equipment, consumables, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, flight test support, airworthiness support, personnel training and training devices, applicable software, hardware, publications and technical data, facilities and maintenance support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics supports services, and other elements of unique engineering efforts required to support the integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of Germany’s indigenous payload and other related elements of logistics and program support, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The estimated total case value is $2.5 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political and economic stability in Europe.

Germany is one of the major political and economic powers in Europe and NATO and a key partner of the United States in ensuring global peace and stability. The proposed sale of the MQ-4C Triton will support legitimate national security requirements and significantly enhance Germany's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and the overall collective security of the European Union and NATO.

The proposed sale of the MQ-4C Triton will close a crucial capability gap and will enhance bilateral and NATO interoperability and will help ensure that Germany is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats.

This proposed MQ-4C UAS sale will be a modified version of the United States Navy (USN) Triton configuration. The German Armed Forces will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Northrop Grumman Corporation Rancho Bernardo, CA, responsible for integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of the payload. Airbus Defence and Space, located in Germany, will be the prime contractor to Germany for the development and manufacturing, and will be responsible for the functional test, end-to-end test and installed performance. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Germany to perform contractor logistics support and to support establishment of required security infrastructure.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: It is ironic, but illustrative of Germany’s haphazard defense procurement, that these Triton variants will be fitted with a sensor payload originally developed by Germany for the Euro Hawk program.
Also based on the Global Hawk air vehicle, Euro Hawk was cancelled in 2013 after incoming German defense minister Thomas de Maizière realized that €600 million was needed to allow Euro Hawk to fly in unsegregated airspace.
At the time, the Euro Hawk program was estimated to cost €1.2 billion euros for five aircraft.
Five years later, the cost of what is essentially the same program (but with only 4 aircraft) has increased to $2.5 billion, and delivery of the original capability will require several more years to test, improve and integrate the sensor payload.
Germany’s defense ministry decided to buy the MQ-9 in early March, the Munich daily Suddeutsche Zeitung reported March 7.)