Coyote is a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed by Sensintel (formerly Advanced Ceramics Research), part of Raytheon Company. The aerial vehicle is primarily intended for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in areas that are not accessible to manned aircraft. The most capable in its class, the Coyote® unmanned aircraft system is small, expendable and tube-launched. It can be deployed from the ground, air or a ship. The Coyote UAS can be flown individually or netted together in swarms, and it is adaptable for a variety of missions including surveillance, electronic warfare and strike.
The Coyote UAS was unveiled in 2004, while its first flight was performed from Beechcraft C-12 Huron turboprop aircraft in 2007. The UAS made its first test flight from a WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft in January 2010. Coyote was deployed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for tracking and modelling the intensity of Hurricane Edouard, for the first time in 2014. Deployed from a NOAA WP-3D Orion aircraft, the UAS collected meteorological data of the hurricane and transmitted to the researchers in real-time. Raytheon performed demonstrations of 30 Coyote unmanned air systems in a swarm in support of the Office of Naval Research Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) programme in 2016.
The U.S. Army has selected the Coyote drone for a near-term counter-UAS solution. Equipped with an advanced seeker and warhead, the Coyote-enabled system can successfully identify and eliminate threat UAVs. In a series of 2016 demonstrations conducted on land and at sea, more than two dozen Coyote systems successfully launched in a swarm and moved in formation, demonstrating the effectiveness of autonomous networking. The swarming capability can be applicable in multiple missions, from ISR activity to strikes against moving targets in a battlefield environment. The Coyote carries a proximity warhead to destroy enemy drones and KRFS multi-mission radar to provide early warning and precision fire control capability when deployed in counter-UAS missions.
The Coyote UAS is equipped with a battery-powered two-blade propeller, mounted at the rear in pusher configuration. It has a maximum air speed of 70kt and a cruising speed of 55kt. It can operate at altitudes of 30,000ft above the mean sea level in non-icing conditions and has the ability to withstand wind speeds of 160.9km/h (100mi/h). The vehicle can travel up to 80km (50mi) from its launch platform and offers a maximum endurance of 60 minutes. The Coyote UAV weighs 5.9kg (13lb) and can carry a variety of interchangeable payloads depending upon the mission requirements. The onboard electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging sensors gather surveillance imagery, video and critical information.