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Coyote Block 3NK demonstrates swarming drone defeat

Raytheon Missiles & Defense has demonstrated a swarming drone defeat capability using a ‘non-kinetic' Coyote Block 3 variant reusable air vehicle.

In a demonstration conducted in association with the US Army's Integrated Fires/Rapid Capabilities Office (IF/RCO) at the Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the Coyote Block 3 non-kinetic (Block 3NK) air vehicle capability engaged and defeated a swarm of 10 drones that differed in size, complexity, and manoeuvrability at various ranges.

During the tests, the Block 3NK was launched from an army Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS) using a Coyote Block 2 launch system supported by the Raytheon Ku-band Radio Frequency System (KuRFS) 360° detect and intercept radar.

Approved by the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office (JCO) in December 2020 as an interim counter-small unmanned aircraft system (C-sUAS) solution for the US Army, the FS-LIDS core architecture includes the SRC Technologies-supplied AN/TPQ-50 Counterfire radar, C-sUAS electronic warfare (EW) system, and electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) camera, using the army's Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) network, along with the KuRFS radar and Coyote Block 2 for kinetic defeat.

Raytheon declined to detail the specific technologies associated with the Block 3's non-kinetic effects capability, but noted that the air vehicle “utilises a non-kinetic warhead to neutralise enemy drones, reducing potential collateral damage. Unlike its expendable counterpart, the non-kinetic variant can be recovered, refurbished, and reused without leaving the battlefield”.

The Coyote Block 3 is a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) evolution of the Coyote Block 1 (pictured) system, which is in operational service with the US Army. (Raytheon Technologies)

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