Boeing awarded US$30m contract to develop ramjet technology

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Boeing is to develop and test ramjet missile technologies for fighter jets under a new US Navy contract.

Boeing has been awarded a US$30 million contract from the US Navy to co-develop the Supersonic Propulsion Enabled Advanced Ramjet (SPEAR) flight demonstrator with the Navy’s Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. The contract award comes after the Department of Defense requested information from the defense industry to help the Navy determine technical requirements of future carrier-based land and sea strike weapons systems.

Steve Mercer, Boeing’s SPEAR program manager said, “The SPEAR flight demonstrator will provide the F/A-18 Super Hornet and carrier strike group with significant improvements in range and survivability against advanced threat defensive systems.

“We have a talented team of engineers to meet the challenging technical demands and schedule timeline that the SPEAR program requires. We look forward to working with Navy experts to advance technologies for the Navy’s future capabilities.”

Boeing and the Navy Air Warfare Center Weapons Division plan to fly the SPEAR demonstrator in late 2022. Boeing’s most recent  supersonic and hypersonic air vehicle projects include the X-51 Waverider test vehicle in 2010 and the Variable Flow Ducted Rocket propulsion system, which was developed under the Triple Target Terminator program in 2014.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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