NAVAIR studies GQM-163 chaff kit to replicate multistage supersonic threats

12 February 2019

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital Sciences, Orbital ATK) has been contracted by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to study the integration of a deployable chaff system into the GQM-163A Coyote supersonic target vehicle.

The modification is intended to support the emulation of multistage supersonic missile threats, such as the Novator 3M54 Klub (SS-N-27A ‘Sizzler’), at the point where the vehicle bus stage and supersonic terminal stage separate. Consideration of the chaff kit modification follows the cancellation of an earlier MSST target development in 2015.

Originally developed by Orbital Sciences to meet the US Navy’s (USN’s) requirement for a high-fidelity Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target to meet anti-ship cruise missile threat simulation requirements, the GQM-163A uses a first-stage Mk 70 solid-rocket booster to accelerate off a rail launcher and achieve supersonic speed.

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