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
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences
Length5.62m (18 ft 5.2 in) (without booster), 9.56m (31 ft 4.2 in) (incl. booster)
Diameter35 cm (13.8 in), booster: 46 cm (17.99 in)

PropellantAerojet MARC-R-282 solid-fueled ducted rocket/ramjet engine
45 nmi (84 km) [1]
Flight ceiling55,000 feet
Flight altitudeSea-skimming: 30 feet (cruise phase), 15ft (terminal phase)
Boost timeHercules MK 70 solid-fueled rocket
SpeedMach 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[edit]

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