A group of defense firms led by Boeing is aiming to demonstrate next summer a new air-breathing munition that features improved speed and range compared to conventional artillery rounds, National Defense reported.
The Ramjet 155 does not have an oxidizer, project team leader Dan Palmeter explained, allowing the munition to achieve longer distances and greater speed because the space originally allotted for oxidizers has been replaced with more fuel.
“It’s definitely something the Army has not seen before,” Palmeter told National Defense. “We think we have something that can really help them in their long-range precision fires number one modernization priority.”
While conventional munition fired from cannons has a range of 25 miles, the Ramjet 155 could go 76 percent farther (44 miles). Furthermore, the artillery can lock onto moving targets through precision guidance and innovative seeker technology.
‘Very Clear Message’
Aside from Boeing, aerospace companies BAE Systems and Nammo have contributed to the development of the Ramjet 155 munition, particularly in the air-breathing and propulsion technology used in the weapon.
Palmeter explained that the companies involved in the project received and understood a “very clear message” from the US Army and the defense department regarding the munition improvement.
“They’re very frustrated with US industry’s efforts to improve propulsion — to make things go farther. We got that message loud and clear,” he stressed.
Demonstration of the new air-breathing munition is scheduled for the summer of 2022. After the testing, the developers will continue to improve the system’s performance.