Test engineers at US defence firm Raytheon have successfully completed more than 1,700 wind tunnel tests on the company’s extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile.
The AMRAAM-ER (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile-Extended Range) missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s larger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.
The testing, which is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) surface-based missile system.
Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president said, “During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield,”
“Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide.”
The next step for the testing team is to analyze data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missile’s aerodynamic models to maximize its performance.
NASAMS is made by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, and according to Raytheon is the most widely used short- and medium-range air defense system in NATO.