Orbital ATK Reaches 50th Launch of Coyote Target
- GQM-163A Supports U.S. Navy Ship Defense and Fleet Training
- Cost-Effective Target Simulates Supersonic Threats
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies marked the 50th and 51st missions of GQM-163A “Coyote” target vehicle for the U.S. Navy, as they completed flights tests launched from White Sands Missile Range last month.
“Marking over 50 missions is a major accomplishment for the program,” said Scott Lehr, Orbital ATK President Flight Systems Group. “The Coyote’s high-performing capabilities are critical to ensuring the Navy’s defense systems remain on the cutting-edge and ready to respond.”
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The supersonic Coyote target vehicle is based on a solid fuel ramjet propulsion system that is integrated into a compact missile airframe. Rail-launched from naval test and training ranges, the highly maneuverable Coyote has two optional flight trajectories: “sea skimmer” and “high-diver.”
These Coyote missions were conducted in a “high-diver” trajectory which reaches speeds more than Mach 3.5, marking the fourth and fifth successful launches completed this year.
“We are committed to providing our customers with a reliable high-quality platform,” said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager Orbital ATK Launch Vehicles Division. “There is a sense of pride involved as we deliver cost-effective, robust and flexible systems that enable the Navy to train and be prepared for real-world threats.”
The development and manufacturing of the Coyote vehicles occurs at Orbital ATK’s facility in Chandler, Arizona.
Throughout the history of the program, Coyote targets have been successfully launched from four sites including San Nicolas Island in the Point Mugu Test Range; the Pacific Missile Range on Kauai, Hawaii; Ile du Levant near the French Mediterranean coast; and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Orbital ATK was awarded an initial development contract in 2000. Since that time, the company has received multiple orders from the U.S. Navy, as well as orders from the Royal Australian Navy, French, Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and other foreign military sales customers. Approximately 120 units of the supersonic sea-skimming target missile have been ordered to date.
Source : Orbital ATK, Inc. - view original press release