Northrup Grumman completes solid fuel ramjet testing for artillery


Engineers at Northrop Grumman have successfully completed several rounds of tests on a ramjet engine which runs off solid fuel, a technology that will enable a longer range precision firing capability for the US Army.

The Solid Fuel Ramjet (SFRJ) tests validated gun-launched survivability and performance predictions, and demonstrated the potential of extending projectile range to more than 100km, which is a significant increase compared to current fielded artillery projectiles.

The tests were conducted as part of phase one of the U.S. Army’s XM1155 Extended-Range Artillery Projectile (ERAP) program, which aims to extend the range of guided 155mm artillery rounds capable of defeating moving and stationary targets in all terrain and weather conditions. The munition system is being designed to provide multi-domain battlespace dominance against high level targets.

Pat Nolan, vice president of missile products at Northrop Grumman said, “Successful completion of the rigorous tests of the Solid Fuel Ramjet demonstrates maturation of the technology to survive the very challenging gun-launch environment and significantly extend the range of the US military’s current field artillery with a high level of confidence.”

Work under the contract will be completed at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, Ronkonkoma, New York; Plymouth, Minnesota; and in partnership with Sparc Research based out of Warrenton, Virginia.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering 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 becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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