U.S. Navy Orders Sea Skimming Target Vehicles from Northrop Grumman

  • Our Bureau
  • 03:54 PM, May 14, 2021
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U.S. Navy Orders Sea Skimming Target Vehicles from Northrop Grumman
GQM-163A “Coyote” supersonic sea-skimming target vehicle

The U.S. Navy has placed an order for 8 additional GQM-163A “Coyote” supersonic sea-skimming target vehicles.

This award represents the first of three options that can be exercised against the full-rate production contract awarded last year. The $55.4 million award brings the GQM-163A targets ordered to date to 218.

Northrop Grumman designed and developed the Coyote starting in the early 2000s, with the first flight in 2003. The company has since delivered 124 targets to the U.S. Navy and successfully launched them 81 times. To create efficiencies and save time for the production of this target system, the company uses 3D printing technology to build mockups and tooling, and to prototype design modifications.

The Coyote program is managed by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. The Coyote provides the Navy with a cost-effective target to simulate advanced supersonic anti-ship cruise missile threats. It can be used as a Mach 2.5+ sea skimming target or as a Mach 3.5+ diving target from an altitude of 52,000 feet; the target vehicle is also able to perform high G turns.

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