Ramjet tests mark progress on THOR-ER programme
The Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) project team has completed two test firings of a solid-fuel ramjet (SFRJ) vehicle in Norway, the DoD revealed on 5 October.
The 17-18 August tests ‘satisfied the THOR-ER Phase 1 objectives of demonstrating jointly-developed propulsion technologies in flight, including new high energy fuels, advanced air injection, and throttling methodologies which will be essential for mission flexible SFRJ systems of the future’, the DoD noted in a statement.
The first flight demonstrated an unguided vehicle with ‘robust SFRJ operation across a wide range of altitudes and speeds’, the DoD added.
The second test focused on a high thrust flight profile.
Both flights successfully demonstrated high supersonic speeds before the ramjet burned out and splashed down.
Programme officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
Initiated in April 2020, THOR-ER is a collaborative effort between the US and Norway to develop prototype technologies for long-range, high-speed and hypersonic weapons.
Shephard subsequently reported that a weapon arising from the THOR-ER programme has the potential to be smaller, more affordable, fit on a wider range of platforms and accommodate a seeker.
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