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Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:06 am
by ThePointblank
This is in relation to the German PEGASUS program, short for “Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System."

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... py-drones/

COLOGNE, Germany — The German government has canceled plans to buy Northrop Grumman-made Triton drones to the tune of $2.5 billion, opting instead for manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.

The decision to buy Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft comes after officials became convinced that the Global Hawk derivatives would be unable to meet the safety standards needed for flying through European airspace by 2025, a target date for Berlin’s NATO obligations.

A defense ministry spokeswoman told Defense News the Triton option had grown “significantly more expensive” compared with earlier planning assumptions.


The Germans intended on using the MQ-4C Triton drones to carry the planned sensor package, but the Germans soon became concerned that the Triton would not be certifiable for European airspace by 2025, which is a key date to get the system online in order to meet NATO commitments.

Their hopes became dashed as a related drone the Italians were purchasing had a number of restrictions slapped on it for flights over Europe. Instead, the Germans are turning towards a manned platform, and will purchase Bombardier Global 6000's for the role and fit them with the planned sensors.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:54 am
by texl1649
This makes sense. The (used?) triton they were getting was going to wind up being quite a mess to certify/make work for them. Hopefully those birds go to good use somewhere.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:40 pm
by GE9X
These drones are so expensive and "experimental"-ish that it doesn't really make sense to buy them unless you're the U.S., which needs to have these sort of toys to gather the right R&D experience to keep its leading edge. If you're a client country with no major stakes in that particular high tech ecosystem, anything saved in operating costs (if that) is almost certainly canceled by the ridiculous acquisition costs. A half dozen business jets with the right sensors and some frankenstein sensor fusion will almost certainly come down to be less expensive AND more dependable for whatever mission they have.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:06 pm
by Ozair
GE9X wrote:
A half dozen business jets with the right sensors and some frankenstein sensor fusion will almost certainly come down to be less expensive AND more dependable for whatever mission they have.

The key difference is persistence. The Global Hawk will stay aloft for 32+ hours with a significantly longer range than a business jet noting a business jet will cruise to an operational area quicker. That persistence does come with a higher cost to operate but provides again a significantly greater capability. That is the reason nations acquire long range UAVs. The German case is very clear, they want to operate the capability but won't be able to get it to interface with airspace constraints, so are moving to an alternative. Were that airspace constraint not present, the Global Hawk would be in German service today.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:45 am
by VSMUT
What ever happened to the Euro Hawks they cancelled? Scrapped? Stored in a hangar somewhere?

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:44 am
by Ozair
VSMUT wrote:
What ever happened to the Euro Hawks they cancelled? Scrapped? Stored in a hangar somewhere?

Essentially parted out.

https://www.uasvision.com/2019/02/22/na ... -eurohawk/

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:09 pm
by mxaxai
So do US Global Hawks / Tritons simply not fly in european air space or do they request a special permission every time? This issue doesn't appear to be limited to Germany, with the Italian drones operating under severe restrictions.

I also don't quite get why NG hasn't been able to fix the problem in well over 10 years and doesn't expect to do so within 5 more years. It can't be that difficult to slap an ADS-B transmitter on the drones.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:50 pm
by seahawk
They operate under serious restrictions, like having to file a flight plan 48h in advance and being and being mentioned in NOTAMs concerning the area in which they operate. Which is kind of useless for a signals intelligence plane in peace time conditions, when the Russians know 24 hours before the drone arrives, that it will arrive and where it will fly.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:50 am
by CX747
ThePointblank wrote:
This is in relation to the German PEGASUS program, short for “Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System."

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... py-drones/

COLOGNE, Germany — The German government has canceled plans to buy Northrop Grumman-made Triton drones to the tune of $2.5 billion, opting instead for manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.

The decision to buy Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft comes after officials became convinced that the Global Hawk derivatives would be unable to meet the safety standards needed for flying through European airspace by 2025, a target date for Berlin’s NATO obligations.

A defense ministry spokeswoman told Defense News the Triton option had grown “significantly more expensive” compared with earlier planning assumptions.


The Germans intended on using the MQ-4C Triton drones to carry the planned sensor package, but the Germans soon became concerned that the Triton would not be certifiable for European airspace by 2025, which is a key date to get the system online in order to meet NATO commitments.

Their hopes became dashed as a related drone the Italians were purchasing had a number of restrictions slapped on it for flights over Europe. Instead, the Germans are turning towards a manned platform, and will purchase Bombardier Global 6000's for the role and fit them with the planned sensors.


Nice to see common sense win out and a workable solution found. The USAF has E-11s, the UK has Sentinels. At the end of the day, perfect is the enemy of good. This is a good solution. New tech, in a proven airframe. Rock on my friends.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:48 pm
by CX747
Wonder if the Germans spoke with the Americans ahead of time? The latest budget release for the USAF has a large portion of the Global Hawk fleet being clipped. Certain frames would be replaced by additional E-11 purchases.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:08 pm
by Ozair
CX747 wrote:
Wonder if the Germans spoke with the Americans ahead of time? The latest budget release for the USAF has a large portion of the Global Hawk fleet being clipped. Certain frames would be replaced by additional E-11 purchases.

The USAF isn't getting rid of Global Hawk though, just retiring the Blk 20 and 30 airframes which are significantly different enough than the current Blk 40, operating the AN/ZPY-2 radar, to make removing them from a sustainment perspective worthwhile.

It is also probably clearer to say that the BACN function performed by Blk 20 aircraft is being replaced by the E-11.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:40 am
by MUC_Spotter
VSMUT wrote:
What ever happened to the Euro Hawks they cancelled? Scrapped? Stored in a hangar somewhere?

Still stored in its hangar at Manching.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:19 pm
by mxaxai
Somewhat related to this, Hensoldt and Diehl have jointly developed an electro-optical system - combining an AESA radar and high-resolution cameras - that allows drones to detect and avoid all airborne objects within 10 km. They claim that this would be comparable to a pilot's vision, which would help integrate future drones into civilian airspace.
https://www.defense-aerospace.com/artic ... ority.html

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:54 am
by Revelation
Ozair wrote:
The key difference is persistence. The Global Hawk will stay aloft for 32+ hours with a significantly longer range than a business jet noting a business jet will cruise to an operational area quicker. That persistence does come with a higher cost to operate but provides again a significantly greater capability. That is the reason nations acquire long range UAVs. The German case is very clear, they want to operate the capability but won't be able to get it to interface with airspace constraints, so are moving to an alternative. Were that airspace constraint not present, the Global Hawk would be in German service today.

Another key difference is the drone is not putting its pilots into harm's way.

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:54 am
by Ozair
With the US potentially not ordered any Tritons for a couple of years NG is apparently offering Australia a very good deal to maintain production. I expect as per the article that Australia is very concerned they could end up with an unsustainable white elephant if the US walks away from future buys and ends their participation in the program.

Perhaps not a bad decision by the Germans after all.

Northrop Grumman suggests Australia takes over US Navy production slots if two-year pause in Triton production eventuates

A possible two-year pause in production of Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has resulted in the US company offering Australia accelerated acquisition and significant savings should it quickly finalise its six-platform requirement.

It has also led to confirmation by Chris Deeble, CEO of Northrop Grumman Australia, that the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is concerned about the further commitment of the US Navy (USN) to the Triton programme.

In June 2018 then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Australia would acquire six MQ-4Cs under Project Air 7000 Phase 1B, with the first platform scheduled to enter service in mid-2023 and all six Tritons planned to be fully operational by late 2025.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/94717/nor ... eventuates

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 10:26 am
by mxaxai
So I was reading this article (https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/bewaff ... n-101.html) about the planned acquisition of armed Heron TP drones by Germany (which would be the very first armed drones in German service) and stumbled over a small paragraph:
Neues Drohnenprojekt: Triton statt "Euro Hawk"
Zeitgleich versucht die Ministerin ein weiteres Drohnenprojekt auf den Weg zu bringen. Es geht um den Nachfolger des skandalumwitterten "Euro Hawk", die nahezu baugleiche US-Aufklärungsdrohne Triton. Deren Kauf soll nun offenbar schnell angestoßen werden.

So nachzulesen in einer Antwort des Verteidigungsministeriums auf eine Anfrage der Linkspartei-Abgeordneten Andrej Hunko und Alexander Neu, die tagesschau.de vorliegt. Demnach soll noch im Juni bei der US-Regierung eine entsprechende Anfrage zur Lieferung von drei Triton-Drohnen gestellt werden.

Mobilfunk abhören und Mailverkehr abfangen
Ein Vertrag könnte bereits in zwei Jahren unterzeichnet werden. Die Maschinen sollen dann mit einer von Airbus entwickelten Aufklärungstechnik mit dem inzwischen etwas verfänglichen Namen "ISIS" ausgerüstet werden. Das Gesamtsystem nennt die Bundeswehr "Pegasus", es soll Mobilfunkgespräche abhören können und auch E-Mails, die kabellos übertragen werden.

Andrej Hunko von der Linkspartei kritisiert das Prozedere: "Ohne die Öffentlichkeit darüber zu informieren, fädelt die Verteidigungsministerin damit das nächste große Drohnenprojekt ein." Für das Schicksal des gescheiterten "Euro-Hawk"-Projektes, das von der Leyens Vorgänger de Mazière wegen explodierender Kosten und ungewisser Zulassungsfähigkeit gestoppt hatte, gibt es derweil eine ganze Reihe von Überlegungen. Das rund 700 Millionen Euro teure Fluggerät wolle man anderen Staaten oder der NATO als Ganzes oder zum Ausschlachten von Ersatzteilen zum Kauf anbieten. "Eine weitere Option ist die Verwendung im Projekt PEGASUS (z.B. als Wartungs-Trainer)", schreibt das Ministerium an die Abgeordneten der Linkspartei. Ein Museumsstück soll die Drohne offenbar nicht werden.

New drone project: Triton instead of "Euro Hawk"
At the same time, the minister is trying to launch another drone project. It is about the successor to the scandalous "Euro Hawk", the almost identical US reconnaissance drone Triton. Their purchase should now apparently be initiated quickly.

This can be read in a response from the Ministry of Defense to a request from Left Party MPs Andrej Hunko and Alexander Neu, which tagesschau.de got hold of. Accordingly, a request for the delivery of three Triton drones should be made to the US government in June.

Eavesdropping on mobile phones and intercepting mail traffic
A contract could be signed in two years. The machines will then be equipped with a reconnaissance technology developed by Airbus with the now somewhat catchy name "ISIS". The Bundeswehr calls the overall system "Pegasus", it should be able to listen to mobile phone calls and also e-mails that are transmitted wirelessly. Andrej Hunko from the Left Party criticizes the procedure: "Without informing the public about this, the Defense Minister is threading the next major drone project." There are a number of considerations for the fate of the failed "Euro Hawk" project, which had been stopped by Leyens' predecessor de Mazière due to exploding costs and uncertain eligibility.

The approximately 700 million euro aircraft will be offered for sale to other countries or NATO as a whole or to cannibalize spare parts. "Another option is to use it in the PEGASUS project (e.g. as a maintenance trainer)," the ministry writes to members of the Left Party. Apparently the drone should not become a museum piece.

I cannot find the ministry's response that this article refers to, so I don't know if they're reporting outdated news or whether this is a new plan to acquire Triton drones. The mission as described in the article would be exactly the same as the one proposed for the original Tritons, as well as for the recently ordered Global 6000s. I also can't see how the regulatory environment changed radically between February and June to make the Tritons suddenly viable again. So take it with a spoonful of salt ...

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 4:05 pm
by Noray
mxaxai wrote:

Another quote from that article:
Stand: 27.06.2017 07:23 Uhr

Date: 27/06/2017 07:23

Re: Germany Dumps MQ-4C Triton drones for Bombardier Global 6000's

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 4:22 pm
by mxaxai
Noray wrote:
mxaxai wrote:

Another quote from that article:
Stand: 27.06.2017 07:23 Uhr

Date: 27/06/2017 07:23

Oh right, my bad... :expressionless: The article was linked in another article (I think this one https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/drohne ... r-101.html but the current version of that one doesn't feature the link so idk) since a public debate regarding the Heron TP is/was scheduled for today. So I forgot to check the date. Yeah, disregard the info then.