Northrop Grumman has concluded several rounds of tests on its Solid Fuel Ramjet (SFRJ) tactical engine configuration.

The concept is being developed to increase the range of artillery projectiles, which is one of the key priorities of the service.

Tests confirmed the gun-launched survivability and performance predictions and showcased the potential of extending the projectile range to over 100km.

They were carried out under phase one of the XM1155 Extended-Range Artillery Projectile (ERAP) programme of the US Army.

The programme is expected to offer an extended range, guided 155mm artillery round that can engage targets that are both moving and stationary on land or at sea in any terrain and all-weather conditions.

Northrop Grumman missile products vice-president Pat Nolan said: “Successful completion of the rigorous tests of the Solid Fuel Ramjet demonstrates the maturation of the technology to survive the very challenging gun-launch environment and significantly extend the range of the US military’s current field artillery with a high level of confidence.”

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The contract work will be carried out at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center in West Virginia; Ronkonkoma, New York; and Plymouth, Minnesota.

It will be done in collaboration with SPARC Research in Warrenton, Virginia.

The US Army other transaction agreement (OTA) through the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Armaments Center for Phase One of XM1155 development was awarded to Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Boeing, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and Northrop Grumman.

This effort was sponsored by the US Government under the Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium OTA with the National Armaments Consortium.

Last month, Northrop Grumman received a contract for the supply of additional AN/APR-39D(V)2 digital radar warning receivers (RWR).