GQM-163 Coyote
A GQM-163A Coyote test launch in May 2004.
Production history
ManufacturerNorthrop Grumman (formerly Orbital Sciences)
Length18.4 ft (5.62 m) without booster, 31.4 ft (9.56 m) with booster
Diameter14 in (35 cm), booster: 18 in (46 cm)

PropellantAerojet MARC-R-282 solid-fueled ducted rocket/ramjet engine
45 nmi (52 mi; 83 km) [1]
Flight ceiling55,000 ft (17,000 m)
Flight altitudeSea-skimming: 30 ft (9.1 m) cruise phase, 15 ft (4.6 m) terminal phase
Boost timeHercules MK 70 solid-fueled rocket
Maximum speed Mach 3.0-4.0 at 5,000–55,000 ft (1,500–16,800 m), Mach 2.6 at 15–30 ft (5–9 m) [1]
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 missile target built by Northrop Grumman[2] (formerly Orbital ATK) 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 the development contract for the Coyote SSST in June 2000.

The Coyote is launched by a Hercules MK-70 booster, of similar design to those used by the 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 sustained 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
United States United States of America
France France
Australia Australia
Japan Japan


  1. ^ a b "Home" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2023-04-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "Northrop Grumman wins potential $250M Navy contract". Virginia Business. 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  3. ^ "Air Defense: Aster Slays The Russian Dragon".
  4. ^ "Orbital Sciences GQM-163 Coyote".
  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". 2014-10-13. Archived from the original on 2014-10-18.