The US military is buying hundreds of drone-killing Coyote interceptors from defense contractor RTX to boost its ability to counter unmanned aerial systems.
The agency agreed to pay $75 million for 600 of the ground-launched, radar-guided Coyote 2C devices, it said Feb. 9.
The effort was led by its Missile and Space Program Executive Office, tasked with developing air defense systems, long-range missile systems, directed-energy lasers and more. Using a method known as a fast-track acquisition principle, the Army is expected to secure the anti-drone munitions in less than 30 days. Other, more traditional means may take months or years.
While the Army is already deploying some Coyote systems in mobile and fixed configurations — in what’s known as the Low, Slow, Small, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System, or LIDS — this latest purchase signals an increase in demand and production. It comes on the heels of a contract notice outlining the military’s intent to acquire and deploy thousands of Coyote interceptors and hundreds of associated launchers and radars over the next five fiscal years.
“The U.S. military needs to develop, produce, and sustain countermeasures against enemy armed and intelligence-gathering UAS operating at various speeds and altitudes that target both U.S. and allied interests at home and abroad.” , the government announcement states.
The deal with RTX was signed days before Iran-backed militants killed three soldiers and wounded dozens of others with a one-way attack drone at the Tower 22 facility in Jordan, near the Syrian border. The strike underscored the pressing need bat down droneswhich can be assembled with off-the-shelf components and can be relatively inexpensive.
RTX, formerly Raytheon Technologies, is the world’s second-largest defense contractor when ranked by defense-related revenue. The Virginia-based company made $39 billion in 2022 and $41.8 billion in 2021, according to the Defense News Top 100 analysis.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration – specifically Cold War decommissioning and nuclear weapons development – for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award winning photographer.
Read the original at Defence247.gr