In an extraordinary display of military innovation, Boeing and Nammo have teamed up with the US Army to unleash the future of artillery, pushing the limits of long-range firepower. This partnership recently achieved a remarkable feat during an indirect fire test that will undoubtedly reshape the landscape of modern warfare.
The test involved the firing of a Ramjet 155-mm artillery shell from the formidable 58-caliber Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA), setting new standards for long-range precision and firepower.
While the world of modern artillery has witnessed substantial progress, the Western powers have, for the most part, seen only incremental improvements in their artillery range. This is a disadvantage when pitted against adversaries like Russia, whose reliance on rocket artillery provides over three times the range of conventional cannon fire.
To address this significant gap in firepower, Boeing and Norway-based Nammo have joined forces under the US Army’s XM1155 program to develop a groundbreaking class of long-range artillery. The core of their innovation lies in advanced ramjet technology, designed to significantly extend the artillery’s range, all while maintaining compatibility with standard guns—no modifications required.
The 155-mm artillery shell used in the recent record-breaking test at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona and in earlier trials at the Andøya Test Center in Norway might appear deceptively conventional. However, beneath the surface, it harbors a world of innovation. Where a standard shell houses a fuse, the Boeing/Nammo shell features an air intake with an extended aerospike. Within its compact frame lies solid rocket fuel, ingeniously mixed without an oxidizer. When fired, the shell accelerates rapidly to supersonic speeds, at which point the ramjet technology takes charge. It draws in, compresses, and ignites the incoming air, resulting in a powerful thrust.
The remarkable outcome of this technological marvel is a 155-mm artillery shell that transcends the usual 14-mile (22 km) range, reaching an astounding 93 miles (150 km). While the exact distance achieved in the Yuma test remains undisclosed, this feat hints at the lofty goals achieved.
According to Boeing, the objective of these tests was to ensure the safe compatibility of the ramjet shell with the ERCA cannon and to showcase its remarkable flight performance. The next phase of development will focus on enhancing the shell’s precision, a testament to the unyielding commitment to military innovation.
Nammo CEO Morten Brandtzæg expressed his optimism: “This program now has a thoroughly tested propulsion system that guarantees enormous range increases for all artillery cannons. We believe the major development hurdles have now been cleared, and production is viable within a relatively short time frame. Our successful tests demonstrate that ramjet projectiles—a true collaborative achievement of Boeing and Nammo—offer the range and precision desired by the Army. Ramjet technology heralds a revolution in artillery, significantly extending range and delivering strategic advantages to our users.”
In eThisarkable collaboration between Boeing and Nammo, fueled by the ingenious ramjet technology, is nothing short of a military game-changer. It promises to reshape the strategic landscape by offering exceptional range and precision, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in modern artillery.