The US military will quickly acquire 600 Coyote anti-UAS drones under the RAA

The US military announced on February 9 that it will rapidly procure 600 unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) from RTX for $75 million, purchasing the Coyote 2C Interceptors with all actions completed in less than 30 days from approval and receipt of financing.

Designed to intercept adversary aerial drones, the Coyote is itself an unmanned aerial system. Proven to be effective when deployed in a swarm of 30 coyotes, the vehicle can be used by the US military to detect, track and destroy enemy unmanned aerial vehicles and other low-swarm threats over the battlefield.

The contract signed by the Office of Defense’s rapid acquisition authority (RAA) on Jan. 16 includes support for increasing production capacity to meet demand.

RAA procedures involve the urgent acquisition and development of capabilities and are typically used when equipment is based on proven technologies that can be implemented within a period of two to 24 months and do not require a significant development effort.

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These procedures may be subject to exceptions as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Defense.

RTX previously supplied Coyote to the US Army to support Central Command operations, with a $273 million contract awarded in April 2023 to deliver Coyote actuators and Ku-band radio frequency sensors (KuRFS).

Ground-launched, with options for vehicle deployment, the Coyote is a radar-guided interceptor with a non-mobile variant, as well as a mobile variant incorporating a proximity warhead. It is a low-cost vehicle, with a length of 26” and a wingspan of 58”. Its wings and tail fins fold outward and it is launched from either a sonobuoy canister or a launch tube.

It has a maximum airspeed of 70 knots (kt) and a cruising speed of 55 kt. It can operate at altitudes of 30,000 feet above mean sea level in ice-free conditions and has the ability to withstand wind speeds of 160.9 km/h (100 mph).

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