Navy begins environmental research on 3 proposed East Coast locations for new unmanned aircraft facility

Posted at 1:47 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 13:47:05-04

Norfolk, Va. – The U.S. Navy has started preparing an Environmental Assessment for three locations in contention to serve as the East Coast home basing and maintenance of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (Triton UAS).

The three proposed locations are Naval Air Station Key West in Florida; Naval Station Mayport in Florida; and National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The chosen location will be a permanent duty station for up to 400 personnel plus family members, and support rotational deployments of personnel and aircraft outside the continental United States.

The location would serve as a launch and recovery site for four home-based Triton UAS aircraft and support an operational-level maintenance hub for up to four additional aircraft undergoing maintenance actions.

Construction on the project would begin in FY 2017.

The Triton UAS is a multiple-sensor unmanned aircraft that is about 48 feet long with a wingspan of about 131 feet. Triton will conduct operations over water, with most operations occurring over international waters 12 miles or more offshore. The mission of the Triton is to provide persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection to the fleet, providing both tactical and strategic mission capabilities.

The public will be invited to review and comment on the Draft EA during a 30-day public review period, which is scheduled to begin in late June.