Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Navy to receive 16 Coyote missiles from Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it has reached an agreement with defense giant Northrop Grumman to produce its GQM-163A Coyote missiles.

The deal, which was a modification to a previous contract, was worth almost $52 million and covered the procurement and delivery of 16 GQM-163A Coyote Supersonic Sea-skimming Targets (SSST) systems and associated technical and administrative data in support of SSST full rate production Lot 17 for the Navy.

The U.S. Department of Defense has finalized an agreement with defense contractor Northrop Grumman for the production and delivery of 16 GQM-163A Coyote missiles, signaling a significant step in enhancing the U.S. Navy’s naval defense capabilities.


The GQM-163A Coyote serves as a supersonic sea-skimming missile target, deployed to simulate realistic threats for training and qualification purposes aboard naval vessels. Launched by a Hercules MK-70 booster, the Coyote transitions to sustained flight using an Aerojet MARC-R-282 solid-fuel rocket/ramjet engine, enabling it to achieve speeds of up to Mach 3.5+.

Originally designed with a Mach 2.5+ sea-skimming capability, the Coyote underwent enhancements to reach Mach 3.5+ as a diving target from altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet. This versatility allows the Coyote to replicate a range of threat scenarios, ensuring comprehensive training for Navy systems and crews.

The GQM-163A offers flexibility in trajectory, capable of executing both ‘sea skimmer’ and ‘high-diver’ flight paths. During sea-skimming maneuvers, the missile can achieve speeds of Mach 2.6 before descending to a mere 15 feet above sea level for a terminal phase covering 10 nautical miles. Alternatively, as a high-diving target, it can reach speeds exceeding Mach 3.5 from altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet, executing maneuvers of up to 12 g in azimuth and 5 g in altitude.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



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