US Army Advances Long-Range Precision Fires With Ramjet Artillery Test

During the test, a Boeing Ramjet 155 projectile was fired out of a cannon and its ramjet engine ignited successfully to demonstrate flight stability with a well-controlled engine combustion process By DA Reporter / 12 Aug 2022
Nammo Ramjet firing

Boeing and Nammo have successfully test-fired a ramjet-powered artillery projectile to further demonstrate the viability of the US Army’s long-range precision fires. 

The long-range test at the Andøya Test Center in Norway follows years of research, development and testing by Boeing and Nammo of ramjet technology, including more than 450 static or short-range tests.

US Army Advances Long-Range Precision Fires With Ramjet Artillery Test
The ramjet motor ignition can be seen as the projectile picks up speed after being launched from a cannon. Photo: Nammo

During the test, a Boeing Ramjet 155 projectile was fired out of a cannon and its ramjet engine ignited successfully to demonstrate flight stability with a controlled engine combustion process.

Ramjet 155 uses an engine in which the air drawn in for combustion is compressed solely by the forward motion of the projectile at supersonic speeds. Considered a hybrid between guided artillery and missiles, the program has an objective of a common round design that can be used in L39 and L58 cannons.

“We believe the Boeing Ramjet 155, with continued technology maturation and testing, can help the US Army meet its long-range precision fires modernization priorities,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing Phantom Works vice president and general manager. “This successful test is evidence that we are making great progress.”

“This is a historic moment for Nammo. The test results demonstrate that ramjets are viable and can fundamentally change the future of artillery,” said Nammo Chief Executive Officer Morten Brandtzæg. “We have great confidence in the ramjet concept. The test – with all aspects from cannon firing, to the projectile body, fins, and trajectory all functioning perfectly – represents a real technological breakthrough in artillery, and a major success for Boeing, Nammo, and the US Army.”

Boeing Phantom Works and Nammo have been working together under 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 Phase II technology development contract.

The team continues to develop and mature the technology, with further testing and demonstrations planned in the coming months.

Boeing-RJ155
Ramjet in flight illustration. Graphic provided by Boeing.
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