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SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote

Armed Overwatch CAS Aircraft

United States | 2021

"The SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote is an evolved CAS-minded form of the USAF C-145A Combat Coyote."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/02/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The SNC MC-145B "Wily Coyote" (or "Coyote") is an American high-winged, special-mission aircraft based in the proven Polish-originated PZL M28 "Skytruck" - itself forged from the storied Soviet-era Antonov An-28 ("Cash") turboprop airliner/utility transport. The United States Air Force (USAF) has operated the M28 in number and its special operations arm knows it as the C-145A "Combat Coyote", the variant powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65B turboprop engines. The MC-145B is an extension of this series, representing a reworked entry for the low-altitude, low-speed "Armed Overwatch" role and currently marketed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).

The MC-145B was born through a May 2021 U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) contract issued to SNC to modify the M28/C-145 for the purposes of armed, loitering support under the "Armed Overwatch" program. The subsequent revision involved installation of various specialized mission systems and sensors for the role as well as detailing supported weapons fits. A ramp-launch capability was added by way of implementation of 8 x Common Launch Tubes (CLTs) at the rear of the cargo hold. The result was the MC-145B "Wily Coyote" - or simply "Coyote" - two aircraft completed by the company while the Arizona Department of Public Safety followed with acquisition of a single airframe.

For the MC-145B, SNC is partnered with defense powerhouse Lockheed Martin which holds PZL Mielec as a subsidiary.

Externally, the airframe retains the proven qualities of the Polish M28, particularly its shoulder-mounted wing mainplane installation which provides the needed lift-versus-drag and low-speed/low-altitude handling. This gives the aircraft excellent short-field performance and its rugged design allows it to be operated under austere conditions. The fixed tricycle undercarriage is reinforced for rough-field operation and the type provides safety and reliability in a warzone through a multi-engine setup. The engines, one turboprop slung under each mainplane, feed from an upgraded fuel store arrangement which provides for enhanced range and increased mission/loitering endurance times. Multiple sensors are embedded into the retractable chin-mounted blister unit giving excellent traverse over the area ahead of the aircraft.

The rear ramp provides ground operators with unfettered access to the hold within. The inherent flexibility of the Coyote design allows the cargo area to be configured to suit the mission need; general cargo for airdrop/resupply, paratrooper holding area, MEDEVAC/CASEVEAC, tactical airlifting, and dispensing of ramp-launched munitions. The latter-most function supports GBU-69 Small Glide Munitions (SGMs) and the Raytheon AGM-176 "Griffin" precision-guided munition.

Externally, the aircraft can be outfitted to carry AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank Guided-Missiles (ATGMs), AGR-20 APKWS precision-guided rockets, and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) across four available hardpoints. The stations are installed outboard of the engine nacelles and wing bracing strut.

The mainplanes are braced against the sides of the fuselage and the tail unit comprises twin-rudder fins along a shared horizontal plane.

Internally, the twin-seat digital cockpit (based in the "common" U-28 cockpit design) sports two large Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) for each crewman as well as redundant control yokes with a shared throttle quadrant. A touchscreen panel allows for pertinent mission displays to be featured and navigation/comms are within easy reach of either crewman. The center console is home to an auxiliary audio panel, communications controls, and forward sensor / modular sensor control panels. The left side panel (left of the pilot) offers management of oxygen, the Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD), ALE-47 system, and audio (this is duplicated at the co-pilot's side panel save for the ALE-47 control zone). The cockpit has a focus on workload reduction, features an auto-throttle function, autopilot, and various mechanisms in place for crew and system safety/reliability.

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November 2021 - The first prototype of the MC-145B has been revealed by PZL Mielec and Sierra Nevada.

August 2022 - The AirTractor AT-802U "Sky Warden" was selected by US SOCOM ahead of the SNC MC-145 "Wily Coyote" design for the Armed Overwatch program.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the MC-145B Armed Overwatch CAS Aircraft.
2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-54B turboprop engines driving five-bladed propeller units each.
258 mph
415 kph | 224 kts
Max Speed
205 mph
330 kph | 178 kts
Cruise Speed
25,000 ft
7,620 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
1,162 miles
1,870 km | 1,010 nm
Operational Range
2,420 ft/min
738 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the MC-145B Armed Overwatch CAS Aircraft.
43.0 ft
13.11 m
O/A Length
72.3 ft
(22.04 m)
O/A Width
16.1 ft
(4.91 m)
O/A Height
9,921 lb
(4,500 kg)
Empty Weight
16,535 lb
(7,500 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote Armed Overwatch CAS Aircraft provided across 4 hardpoints.
Ramp-launched GBU-69 Small Glide Munitions / Raytheon AGM-176 "Griffin" precision-guided munition drop bombs / guided bombers.

AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), AGR-20 APKWS precision-guided rockets, and/or GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) across four external, underwing hardpoints.

Hardpoints Key:

Not Used
Notable series variants as part of the SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote family line.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 3 Units

Contractor(s): Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) / Lockheed Martin - USA; PZL Mielec - Poland
National flag of the United States

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Image of the SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote
Image from official SNC marketing materials.

Going Further...
The SNC MC-145B Wily Coyote Armed Overwatch CAS Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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