Navy asks Raytheon for Networked Swarming UAVs for ISR and Strike

As reported by, U.S. Navy anti-air warfare experts needed an advanced unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and strike that can be launched from unmanned submarines and surface vessels. They found their solution from Raytheon Technologies Corp. Officials of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va., announced a $146.7 contract last month to the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Tucson, Ariz., for the Future Advanced Strike (FAST) project -- essentially a modernized version of the Raytheon tube-launched Coyote block 3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Coyote is a small, expendable, and tube-launched UAV that can be deployed from the ground, air, or surface warships. It can operate individually or can be networked with other Coyote UAVs in swarming operations for surveillance, electronic warfare (EW), and strike missions. In 2016 demonstrations on land and at sea, more than two dozen Coyote systems launched in a swarm and moved in formation, demonstrating the effectiveness of autonomous networking.

FAST will complete design modifications to the Coyote block 3 to provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and precision strike capability. Raytheon will develop an enhanced payload air system, a new launch module, a fire control system, and ancillary support. The system will operate for up to one hour, and can carry out surveillance imagery, enhanced targeting, near real-time damage assessment, and provides a reduced threat to manned aircraft missions. Read details at Lead photos courtesy of Raytheon, via Photos 3 and 4 show earlier versions of the tube-launched prop-driven Coyote: the A Block 1 Coyote, and the Coyote version exhibited at the 2016 AUVSI Xponential (Photo by David Brion).

Our thanks to Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, for his assistance with this report, background for which appeared in his  USN - Edition # 23 – 7 – 2023 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

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