Boeing and Norwegian defense and aerospace company Nammo said they had successfully tested a ramjet-powered artillery projectile.
During testing at the Andøya Test Center in Norway, a Boeing Ramjet 155 projectile was fired from a cannon and its ramjet successfully ignited. companies say that “demonstrated flight stability with a well-controlled engine combustion process”.
“We believe the Boeing Ramjet 155, with continued technology maturation and testing, can help the U.S. military meet its long-range sniper modernization priorities,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing Phantom Works.
“This is a historic moment for Nammo”, said Nammo Chairman and CEO Morten Brandtzæg. “The test results demonstrate that ramjets are viable and can fundamentally change the future of artillery.”
“We have great confidence in the ramjet concept,” Brandtzaeg added.
“The test – with all aspects of firing from barrel to projectile body, fins and trajectory working flawlessly – represents a true breakthrough in artillery technology and a major success for Boeing, Nammo and the U.S. military.”
The long-range test at Andøya follows years of research, development and testing by Boeing and Nammo of ramjet technology, including more than 450 static or short-range tests.
Boeing Phantom Works and Nammo have worked together in a strategic partnership to jointly develop and produce the next generation of boosted artillery projectiles. In July 2019, the Boeing-Nammo team was awarded a contract under the US Army’s XM1155 program to develop and mature the Ramjet 155 projectile. In May 2021, the team was awarded a technology development contract from stage II.
The 155 ramjet uses an engine in which air is drawn in for combustion and is compressed solely by the forward motion of the projectile at supersonic speeds. Considered a hybrid between guided artillery and missiles, the program aims for a common round design that can be used in the L39 and L58 guns.
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