On 9 February the US Army announced it has awarded a contract, valued at USD75 million, to RTX Corporation for production of 600 Coyote 2C interceptors to support the service’s counter-UAS mission.
The contract is part of a rapid acquisition authority that the Pentagon identified to Congress, with all actions completed in under 30 days from authorisation and receipt of funding. This allows for an expedited process to quickly acquire and field the weapons. The contract “supports a Coyote Interceptor demand increase and subsequent need to increase production capacity,” according to an Army release.
“The Coyote is a key component of the counter-UAS system of systems,” said a 9 February Army release. “It is a ground-launched, radar-guided interceptor, with kinetic and non-kinetic variants, that integrates into fixed site-low, slow, small-unmanned aircraft system integrated defeat systems and mobile-slow, small-unmanned aircraft system integrated defeat systems.”
The move is, in part, inspired by the escalating series of drone attacks on US troops deployed in the Middle East and follows statements made late last year by William LaPlante, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, that making counter-UAS capability available at scale “[…] is an urgent issue”.
(Image: two variants of the Coyote 2C interceptor provide the US Army with flexible short-range counter-UAS capability. Credit: US Army)