Northrop Grumman ambitions stalled by missile control treaty SOURCE: UV ONLINE Northrop Grumman is unable to offer the Triton UAV for an Indian Navy requirement for a maritime ISR platform until government-level discussions dictate the future of the purchase. The Global Hawk Triton UAV is anticipating the first flight testing next month in the US. The UAV is being procured alongside the Boeing P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft for the US Navy, a platform that is also on contract to begin being delivered to the Indian Navy this year. â€˜They want to follow the US model; P-8 and Triton,â€™ Greg Miller, business development for the Triton for the company, told Shephard at the Aero India exhibition. â€˜The Indian Navy agrees with the USâ€™ requirements, which exactly fits our sweet spot.â€™ Although India could potentially be interested in purchasing the platform, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) voluntary international agreement, which India is not yet a part of, prevents sales of high altitude heavy payload-carrying aircraft to the country. â€˜Until that gets resolved we stay here to maintain that interest,â€™ Miller added. He explained that this is a government-to-government issue, although the Indian Navy has released an RfI for a HALE maritime ISR platform. The US Navy, meanwhile, requires 68 Triton aircraft according to the programme of record, with three on contract under a system development agreement. The company is working towards starting the flight testing in California in March, and it is expected to be completed by the end of that month. It will then be transferred to Pax River for naval testing. The P-8 and Triton together will replace the US Navyâ€™s P-3 fleet, with 117 and 68 platforms required of each respectively. â€˜They want to save the P-8 for more taxing issues,â€™ Miller explained. â€˜That model seems to be catching on.â€™ The Australian Government is also â€˜very forward leaning and optimisticâ€™ about the Triton, and was originally a development partner. It is also due to receive the P-8 aircraft. Meanwhile, following the submission of its response to the Indian Navyâ€™s RfI for an AEW requirement, Northrop Grumman is waiting for a pending decision from the Indian MoD. The navy is looking to purchase a fixed wing carrier-based AEW platform to complement its rotary wing AEW platform, a 2010 RfI explained. The company is offering its E-2D aircraft, currently on contract with the US Navy. â€˜This aeroplane was very much designed to meet the requirements of the [Indian Navy] RfI,â€™ Tom Trudell, manager of international business development for the E-2/C-2 IPT for the company, explained. â€˜Weâ€™ve responded to the RfI and the E-2D has been approved by the US Government for India.â€™ Current operators of the E2 include the US and French navies and the Japanese, Taiwanese and Egyptian air forces. The only customer for the E-2D is the US, so if the Indian Navy chooses to purchase the platform it will be the first international customer. Nine of the contracted 20 E-2Ds have been delivered to the US to date, while a potential 75 are outlined in the programme requirements. Two platforms will be delivered this year, with IOC being reached in 2015. Malaysia and the UAE have also been approved by the US Government, and discussions have taken place. The UAE is quite advanced in its programme development and Northrop Grumman is waiting for a decision on the contract.