The Tactical Excessive-speed Offensive Ramjet for Prolonged Vary (THOR-ER) program crew, a collaborative effort between the US and Norway to develop a strong gas ramjet (SFRJ) car, achieved an necessary milestone on August 17, at Andøya in northern Norway. The check car efficiently fired a number of occasions, displaying the viability of ramjet propulsion know-how and demonstrating important will increase in efficient vary. The current exams happy the THOR-ER Part 1 aims of demonstrating jointly-developed propulsion applied sciences in flight, together with new excessive vitality fuels, superior air injection, and throttling methodologies which will likely be important for mission versatile SFRJ methods of the long run. The primary flight, performed on August 17, demonstrated an unguided car with sturdy SFRJ operation throughout a variety of altitudes and speeds. The second check, which targeted on a excessive thrust flight profile, happened the next day. Each flights had been thought of profitable, having demonstrating excessive supersonic speeds previous to ramjet burnout and splashdown. Program officers will proceed to judge system efficiency primarily based upon telemetry and different information obtained throughout the check.

“Not solely do the current check firings at Andøya Area Flight Heart mark a key milestone when it comes to proving the THOR-ER propulsion know-how, in addition they show the ability of bilateral cooperation. By concerted efforts, key stakeholders in the US and Norway have made important progress that guarantees to extend each velocity and vary of air protection and missile methods. I’m hopeful that the collaborative strategy we have now dropped at the R&D, prototyping and check phases will proceed into the industrialization stage of the know-how.,” stated Morten Tiller, Norwegian Armaments Director.


“We imagine that the SFRJ goes to be a game-changer for the U.S. Navy and our Allied companions, and we’re excited to see the profitable THOR-ER flight exams,” stated Stephen Farmer, Director for Superior Ideas, Prototyping & Experimentation at Naval Air Warfare Heart Weapons Division (NAWCWD). “We’re additionally humbled in having this partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Protection and Norwegian business accomplice Nammo. We all know that our mixed crew will proceed to construct on this success, and we’re excited for what the long run will carry.”

“The SFRJ flight car was accelerated to above Mach 2 with the assistance of a strong rocket booster, and transitioned to ramjet mode. The flight section was a powerful success with steady flight, sturdy ramjet operation, and a excessive thrust-to-drag ratio. The flights carried out in accordance with pre-flight calculations, demonstrating a high-speed long-range trajectory. All in all, it is a actual milestone. Whereas not the primary ramjet car, it’s the first trendy ramjet, with a possible for an important enchancment in vary, time to focus on, and agility,” stated Govt Vice President of Aerospace Propulsion on the Nordic Ammunition Firm (Nammo), Stein Erik Nodeland.

“The US must be working intently with our allies to make sure our joint power has probably the most innovative capabilities on the battlefield. I commend the THOR-ER crew on their excellent work weathering the pandemic atmosphere, persevering with the event of this important propulsion know-how, and selling continued science and know-how collaboration with our companions in Norway,” stated Heidi Shyu, Beneath Secretary of Protection for Analysis and Engineering.

The Tactical Excessive-speed Offensive Ramjet for Prolonged Vary (THOR-ER) program builds upon collaborative analysis efforts involving the Workplace of the Undersecretary of Protection for Analysis and Engineering, the Joint Hypersonics Transition Workplace, NAWCWD, the Norwegian Defence Analysis Institution, and Nammo. In April 2020, the U.S. Division of Protection and the Norwegian Ministry of Protection collectively introduced their partnership to develop superior applied sciences relevant to lengthy vary high-speed and hypersonic weapons. The Beneath Secretary of Protection for Analysis and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Know-how Officer of the Division of Protection. The USD(R&E) champions analysis, science, know-how, engineering, and innovation to take care of the US army’s technological benefit. Nammo and Boeing even have efficiently test-fired a ramjet-powered artillery projectile, additional demonstrating the viability of one of many U.S. Military’s modernization priorities – long-range precision fires. Throughout the June 28 check on the Andøya Check Heart in Norway, a Boeing Ramjet 155 projectile was fired out of a cannon and its ramjet engine ignited efficiently. It demonstrated flight stability with a well-controlled engine combustion course of.

Tactical Excessive-speed Offensive Ramjet for Prolonged Vary (THOR-ER) flight car moments after being launched in Andøya, Norway, Aug. 17, 2022. (Picture by U.S. Division of Protection )