A project team involving the U.S. Department of Defense and the Norwegian defense ministry conducted a test of a solid fuel ramjet vehicle in August and met Phase 1 objectives of the Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range program.
The test SFRJ vehicle fired several times and demonstrated advanced air injection, throttling techniques, high energy fuels and other propulsion technologies, DOD said Wednesday.
THOR-ER is a collaborative program involving the Pentagon’s research and engineering office, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office, Nordic Ammunition Co. and Norway’s defense research establishment.
“The SFRJ flight vehicle was accelerated to above Mach 2 with the help of a solid rocket booster, and transitioned to ramjet mode. The flight phase was a resounding success with stable flight, robust ramjet operation, and a high thrust-to-drag ratio,” said Stein Erik Nodeland, executive vice president of aerospace propulsion at Nammo.
“The flights performed in accordance with pre-flight calculations, demonstrating a high-speed long-range trajectory,” Nodeland added.
Heidi Shyu, DOD undersecretary for research and engineering and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, commended the THOR-ER team for continuing development work on the propulsion system and advancing science and tech collaboration with partners in Norway amid the pandemic.
“The United States needs to be working closely with our allies to ensure our joint force has the most cutting edge capabilities on the battlefield,” noted Shyu.
The test was conducted on Aug. 17 at Andoya in northern Norway.