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Nammo readies SFRJ for initial THOR-ER test-firing in 2022

Artist's impression of a THOR-ER missile powered by Nammo's SFRJ engine technology. (Nammo)

Nammo, in association with the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), is preparing for an initial live-fire long-range test flight of its new solid-fuel ramjet (SFRJ) motor with the US Navy's Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) missile propulsion technology demonstrator.

Jointly funded by the US Navy and US Allied Prototyping Initiative (API), and by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Nammo, the test will be conducted at the Andøya Test Center in Norway in early 2022.

The THOR-ER programme was launched in 2019 as a bilateral initiative between the US and Norwegian governments “to co-operatively develop and integrate advancements in solid-fuel ramjet technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable, attain high-speeds, and achieve extended range, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions”. According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), “the effort will also consider potential US and Norwegian co-production opportunities”.

THOR-ER is being advanced under the auspices of the API. Established in 2019 by the Advanced Capabilities Directorate of the US Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the API is intended to rapidly co-develop large-scale operational prototyping projects to provide leap-ahead capabilities in 5–7 years by leveraging existing frameworks for international co-operation in research and development. The initiative is designed to progress prototyping opportunities on a shared contribution basis between the US and its closest allies.

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