MISSION: The M56 Coyote enhances the division and corps commander's ability to deny the enemy information, to protect his forces, and to dominate the maneuver battle. Six M56 Coyotes form the smoke platoon. The M56 will operate in support of light and airborne maneuver units by disseminating smoke on the move and from stationary positions to defeat enemy sensors and smart munitions such as tank thermal sights, guided munitions, directed energy weapons, and other systems operating in the visual through far-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
CHARACTERISTICS: The M56 Coyote is a motorized system mounted on an M1113 Expanded Capacity High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The M1113 HMMWV has a gross vehicle weight of 11,500 lbs which allows the maneuver element to fully load the M56 and still pull a trailer. The turbocharged 190 hp engine provides excellent mobility. The smoke generating system provides 90 minutes of visual and 30 minutes of infrared obscuration without resupply. The visual and infrared screens can deny enemy reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RISTA) devices information of troop strength, position, and movement and deny visual and infrared weapon systems kills on our combat units. A pre-planned Materiel Change to add a 30 minute millimeter wave obscuring capability will defeat enemy radar RISTA devices and weapon systems. A Drivers Vision Enhancer (DVE) is currently being added to provide the additional capability to drive at night and under obscured conditions. A crew of two operate the M56 Coyote.
FOREIGN COUNTERPART: Countries using former Soviet doctrine emphasize extensive use of smoke during tactical exercises. Many nations, especially those in the Middle East, are beginning to realize the benefits of smoke and have developed programs in this area. Many potential threat countries are also acquiring enhanced thermal and infrared RISTA devices that make our forces more vulnerable without the use of smoke.
PROGRAM STATUS: The M56 Coyote was Type Classified September 1994. A production contract was awarded to Robotic Systems Technology in March 1995 for 267 systems. First Article and Production Verification testing were successfully completed in September 1996. Eight M56 Coyotes were fielded to the Chemical School, Ft. McClellan, AL, in May 1997.
PROJECTED ACTIVITIES: Fieldings to FORSCOM began in July 1998 with delivery of 18 systems to the 82nd Airborne, Ft. Bragg, NC. A follow-on five year multiyear contract will be awarded in FY01. A materiel change program to add a millimeter wave module will also begin in FY01. This program will provide extended spectral coverage to defeat threat weapon systems operating in the millimeter regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.