Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) today announced that it was recently awarded a production contract for seven Coyote supersonic sea-skimming target (SSST) vehicles and related equipment by the U.S. Navy. The latest order for Orbital’s Coyote target program is in addition to existing production contracts for the Mach 2.5-capable, low-altitude target missile used by the Navy to test fleet self-defense systems against a threat-representative target. This latest SSST order is the sixth full-rate production contract following a highly successful five-year development and flight test program. The total value of the new contract is $26.4 million.
“Orbital is proud of its role in supporting the Navy’s ship defense efforts through the development, production and operation of the highly reliable Coyote Supersonic Sea Skimming Target. The Coyote system has proven to be a capable and cost effective threat simulator for our customer’s critical mission to help protect our deployed naval forces,” said Orbital’s Coyote Program Manager Keven Leith.
The Coyote program is managed by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), based at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. The target missile design integrates a four-inlet, solid-fuel ducted-rocket ramjet propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 18 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. Ramjet supersonic takeover speed is achieved using a decommissioned Navy MK 70 solid rocket motor for the first stage.
Rail-launched from naval test and training ranges, the highly maneuverable Coyote achieves cruise speeds of over Mach 2.5 following the separation of the MK 70 first-stage booster. The range of the target vehicle system is approximately 50 nautical miles at altitudes of less than 20 feet above the sea surface.
Orbital has also designed and carried out a test-flight of a “high-diver”
variant of the Coyote missile, during which the vehicle achieved an altitude of 35,000 feet, traveled at Mach 3.3 and approached its target point at a 40-degree downward angle.
Source: Orbital Sciences Corp.
Date: Sep 23, 2012