Boeing and its Norwegian aerospace and defense partner Nammo have announced another test-firing of a ramjet-powered artillery projectile, demonstrating the viability of the US Army’s long-range precision fires concept.
On June 28 at Norway’s Andøya Test Center, a Boeing-developed Ramjet 155 projectile was fired from a cannon, its ramjet engine successfully igniting. The test “demonstrated flight stability with a well-controlled engine combustion process,” Boeing said.
The Ramjet 155 employs an engine that draws air in which is compressed by forward motion and combusts, propelling the projectile at supersonic speed.
The technology can be thought of as a guided artillery/missile hybrid, with the goal of creating “a common round design that can be used in L39 and L58 cannons,” according to Boeing.
US Army Long-Range Precision Fires Modernization
“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,” Boeing Phantom Works vice president and general manager Steve Nordlund said.
Nammo CEO Morten Brandtzæg called the test a “historic moment” for Nammo, and added,. “The test results demonstrate that ramjets are viable and can fundamentally change the future of artillery,” he added.
He expressed the “great confidence” both companies have in their ramjet concept, describing it a “technological breakthrough” and how the test was a great success for Nammo, Boeing, and the US Army.
Ramjet 155: Years of Research
The long-range test at Andøya is the most recent after years of research and development, including more than 450 static or short-range tests.
From January to March this year, the companies conducted several successful ground-fire tests of the ramjet munitions technology.
Awarded a contract under the army’s XM1155 program in July 2019, Nammo and Boeing Phantom Works have worked together to jointly develop and mature a boosted artillery projectile, which became the Ramjet 155.
A Phase II technology development contract was awarded to the team in May 2021.