Coyote target vehicle achieves 100th launch
Northrop Grumman announced on 7 July that its GQM-163A Coyote target vehicle had achieved its 100th launch.
The Coyote is a threat-representative target used by the US Navy to test anti-cruise missile defences for ships in the US and allied navies.
Northrop Grumman has delivered more than 145 GQM-163A targets to the branch to date, out of a contracted order for 218 targets. Options for more Coyotes exist in the years ahead too.
Northrop Grumman originally designed the Coyote target as a Mach 2.5+ sea-skimming target, but it was later modified to attain Mach 3.5+ as a diving target from an altitude of more than 50,000ft.
Rich Straka, VP of launch vehicles at Northrop Grumman noted: ‘The unique speed, performance and versatility of this target has enabled us to meet multiple mission scenarios for our customer for over two decades'.
‘As the only supersonic sea skimming target produced in the United States, the Coyote is part of a family of tactical targets that ensures US Navy systems are ready and capable to defend against threats,' Straka added.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded this programme to Northrop Grumman in 2000, with its initial launch in 2003. The total contract value is over $329 million.
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