A reusable Coyote Block 3 non-kinetic effector successfully defeated a swarm of drones during a US Army test, its developer Raytheon Missiles & Defense reported.
The Coyote drone used a non-kinetic warhead to engage and take down enemy drones in the test, which took place at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Rather than utilizing contact projectiles such as bullets, the Coyote used electronic or directed energy systems.
In a statement to Inside Defense, Raytheon confirmed that the system has a “high technology readiness level.” However, the company fell short of disclosing any specifics about what type of non-kinetic technology the Coyote warhead employed.
Enemy Drone Engagement
Using a non-kinetic mechanism helps safeguard against collateral damage, including to the Coyote itself. Furthermore, this variant can be retrieved and reused without the need to leave the battlefield.
During the exercise, the Coyote engaged with 10 enemy drones of varying sizes, taking down all of them.
The test marked the first air-to-air non-kinetic drone takedown, demonstrating unprecedented survivability, recovery, refurbishment, and reusability for an unmanned aerial vehicle. Furthermore, it was the first successful Coyote Block 2 system launch.
‘An Effective Weapon’
“This test demonstrates the effectiveness of Coyote to counter complex unmanned aircraft systems,” said Tom Laliberty of Raytheon. “As a non-kinetic variant, we’re offering an effective weapon against the threat and value to the Army in the form of an affordable, reusable asset.”
The high level of performance displayed in the tests guarantees its future in the US Army, as it moves closer to deployment.