Surveillance Activity of Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Off Libya

On June 2nd, 2024, an interesting aerial operation was tracked off the coast of Libya. The aircraft in question, a USNavy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton ( reg. 169660 – callsign BLACKCAT6), conducted a series of intricate flight patterns over the Mediterranean Sea off eastern and, in particularly, off western Libya.

The MQ-4C Triton, operated by the United States Navy, is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The image shows BLKCAT6 performing a detailed and extensive search pattern at an altitude of 48,100 feet. With a ground speed of 247 knots, the UAV methodically covered a significant area, likely engaged in intelligence-gathering activities. The MQ-4C Triton, with registration number 169660, has been in service for a year as of January 2023. This particular model is part of the U.S. Navy’s strategic assets for maritime surveillance.

The flight path of BLKCAT6, as depicted in the image, suggests a focused surveillance operation. The looping and circling patterns are typical of reconnaissance missions aimed at gathering detailed imagery or signals intelligence over a specific area. The area of operation, just north of the Libyan coast near Tripoli and Misrata, is of strategic importance, given the ongoing geopolitical tensions and security concerns in the region.

This particular flight highlights the continued presence and surveillance efforts of the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean region. The MQ-4C Triton, with its state-of-the-art technology, plays a critical role in maintaining situational awareness and enhancing the security of maritime routes.

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