GQM-163 Coyote

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GQM-163 Coyote
GQM-163 Coyote test launch May 2004.jpg
A GQM-163A Coyote test launch in May 2004.
Production history
Manufacturer Orbital Sciences
Length 5.62m (18 ft 5.2 in) (without booster), 9.56m (31 ft 4.2 in) (incl. booster)
Diameter 35 cm (13.8 in), booster: 46 cm (17.99 in)

Propellant Aerojet MARC-R-282 solid-fueled ducted rocket/ramjet engine
45 nmi (84 km) [1]
Flight ceiling 55,000 feet
Flight altitude Sea-skimming: 30 feet (cruise phase), 15ft (terminal phase)
Boost time Hercules MK 70 solid-fueled rocket
Speed Mach 3.0-4.0 at 5,000-55,000ft, Mach 2.6 at 30-15ft [2]
A GQM-163A Coyote flies over the bow of a U.S. Navy observation ship during a routine test.

The GQM-163 Coyote is a supersonic sea skimming target built by Orbital Sciences and used by the United States Navy as a successor to the MQM-8 Vandal. Orbital's proposal was chosen over the MA-31, a joint venture between Boeing and Zvezda-Strela. Orbital was awarded their contract for the development of the Coyote SSST in June 2000.

The Coyote is initially boosted by a Hercules MK-70 booster, of similar design to those used by the now obsolete RIM-67 Standard ER missiles. After the booster stage is expended the missile switches to an Aerojet MARC-R-282 solid-fuel rocket /ramjet engine for sustaining its flight. [3][4][5]

In July 2018, Orbital Sciences Corp was awarded a US$52m modification to its existing contract, for 18 Lot 12 targets plus some Foreign Military Sales.[6]


Map with CQM-163 operators in blue

Current operators

United States United States of America
France France
Australia Australia[7]
Japan Japan[8]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Aster Slays The Russian Dragon
  4. ^ Directory of US Military Rockets and Missiles
  5. ^ "GQM-163 SSST: A Tricky Coyote to Match Wits With Defenses". Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  6. ^ Orbital tapped for Coyote supersonic sea skimming targets for Navy, Stephen Carlson,, 2018-07-03
  7. ^ ANZAC upgrade completes final acceptance trial
  8. ^ Latest GQM-163 SSST contract includes first sale to Japan
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