Innovation in Artillery Field: Ramjet-Powered Round

Innovation in Artillery Field: Ramjet-Powered Round

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A new ramjet-propelled shell under development will double the range of US military artillery to over 100 km (62 mi). This is one of a number of novel ammunition types that the service is now exploring as companions for its future long-range 155mm howitzers.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense has begun the first phase of developing the XM1155 Extended-Range Artillery Projectile under a $7.9 million U.S. Army other transaction agreement (OTA). 

The new, cannon-launched, ramjet-powered artillery round will deliver precision strikes in all terrain and weather conditions.

The XM1155 project aims at creating an artillery round that doesn’t just fly ballistically but incorporates a ramjet to propel it and extend its range. The gun would fire the round, accelerating it to a fast enough speed to compress the incoming air inside the ramjet’s combustion chamber to allow it to ignite and run, according to newatlas.com.

The tactical 155mm XM1155 will be able to strike moving and stationary high-value targets on land and at sea. The maneuverable, extended-range airframe will be compatible with legacy and future 155mm artillery systems.

The ramjet engine will be designed by TNO, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. Raytheon Missiles & Defense will integrate the engine with the system’s airframe, seeker, warhead and other components.

The company said that it would leverage its past experience with the M982 Excalibur precision-guided 155mm artillery shell. The Excalibur, which the Army, as well as the U.S. Marines, have been using for more than a decade, is only capable of hitting stationary targets using its GPS-assisted inertial navigation system (INS) guidance package.