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RAAF reforms historic No. 9 Squadron for MQ-4C Triton arrival

The Royal Australian Air Force has reformed the retired No. 9 Squadron in preparation for the arrival of the MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft system next year.

The Royal Australian Air Force has reformed the retired No. 9 Squadron in preparation for the arrival of the MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft system next year.

The previously disbanded squadron will become No. 92 Wing Surveillance and Response Group with the Northrop Grumman aircraft, be headquartered at RAAF Base Edinburgh, and take part in Triton operations from RAAF Base Tindal.

The No. 9 Squadron was originally formed in 1939 as a fleet cooperation unit working with seaplanes and served during World War II in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans, receiving 12 battle honours before being disbanded in 1944.

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It was reformed in 1962 with personnel deployed as helicopter squadron in active service during the Vietnam War, before being disbanded again in 1989.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Rob Chipman said the re-establishment of No. 9 Squadron on 11 June this year marked the beginning of a new era in the squadron’s distinguished history.

“9 Squadron has played an incredibly important role in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving during critical times for Australia’s security,” AIRMSHL Chipman said.

“I’m proud to see the squadron return to service in 2023.”

Triton will form part of the nation’s maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability, alongside P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft operated by the RAAF.

Officer Commanding No. 92 Wing Group Captain Paul Carpenter said that as RAAF enters its second century, the MQ-4C Triton represented a fundamental change in utilising airpower.

“Uncrewed aerial systems offer enormous potential to capitalise on the opportunities provided by modern payloads and increased endurance,” GPCAPT Carpenter said.

“This will deliver unprecedented persistence and awareness over the maritime domain in support of the Integrated Force.”

The reformation of No. 9 Squadron was previously announced by Defence Minister Richard Marles during the 2023 Australian International Airshow held in April.

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