Naval Weapons

USN to establish GQM-163 launch site on UK range

13 May 2019

The US Navy (USN) has revealed plans to establish a launch facility for the GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming target on the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Hebrides range to support future live fire exercise events.

Lying off the northwest coast of Scotland, the MoD Hebrides range occupies 115,000 km² of segregated airspace, allowing the MoD, industry, and international customers to conduct a wide range of trials, experimentation, and rehearsal. The range is operated by QinetiQ on behalf of the MoD as part of a Long Term Partnering Agreement.

In a solicitation posted on 29 April, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) – through the Aerial Targets programme office (PMA-208) – advised its intention to award Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (previously ATK Orbital) a contract for the procurement of the Hebrides site stand-up as a GQM-163A launch site.

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