WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (Delmarva Now) — An environmental assessment by the US Navy,ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT THE EAST COAST HOME BASING of MQ-4C TRITON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM has found no significant issues with using Wallops Flight Facility as a new base for the Navy MQ-4C TRITON drone program. Two other facilities, Naval Air Station Key West and Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida also passed the assessment, and are also possible locations for the new facility.
Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the MQ-4C TRITON system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, as well as search and rescue missions.
The base would be one of two for the program in the United Stated and one of five around the world. Construction is expected to begin next year, with operations going live in 2020.
Wallops Island Regional Alliance President Peter Bale says the move could bring 400 full-time jobs to the area.