Locations
Contacts

Endre Lunde

Senior Vice President, Communications

MAIL P.O. Box 142, NO-2831 Raufoss, Norway
VISIT Enggata 37, 2830 Raufoss, Norway
EMAIL endre.lunde@nammo.com
TEL +4790853270

Norway

Nammo AS

MAIL P.O. Box 142, NO-2831 Raufoss, Norway
VISIT Enggata 37, NO-2830 Raufoss, Norway
EMAIL info@nammo.com
TEL +47 61 15 36 00

Ramjet technology – Quick facts:

  • A ramjet is a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the engine’s forward motion to compress incoming air without an axial compressor or a centrifugal compressor.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (2,300 mph; 3,700 km/h). These engines can operate up to speeds of Mach 6 (4,600 mph; 7,400 km/h).
  • Ramjets can work both in smaller projectiles like 155mm artillery shells, as well as in larger missiles.
  • Boeing and Nammo have signed a teaming agreement to jointly develop and produce the next generation of extended range artillery projectiles – utilising ramjet technology.

Contacts

Thomas Danbolt

Vice president, Large Caliber Ammunition (LCA)

EMAIL thomas.danbolt@nammo.com
TEL +47 470 10 625

Endre Lunde

Senior Vice President, Communications

MAIL P.O. Box 142, NO-2831 Raufoss, Norway
VISIT Enggata 37, 2830 Raufoss, Norway
EMAIL endre.lunde@nammo.com
TEL +4790853270

The range revolution

For a long time, artillery systems have been able to shoot out to just over 20 kilometers. Nammo is well on its way to change that completely. A new family of ammunition is set to reach distances of up to 150 kilometers.

Ramjet technology – Quick facts:

  • A ramjet is a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the engine’s forward motion to compress incoming air without an axial compressor or a centrifugal compressor.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (2,300 mph; 3,700 km/h). These engines can operate up to speeds of Mach 6 (4,600 mph; 7,400 km/h).
  • Ramjets can work both in smaller projectiles like 155mm artillery shells, as well as in larger missiles.
  • Boeing and Nammo have signed a teaming agreement to jointly develop and produce the next generation of extended range artillery projectiles – utilising ramjet technology.

Contacts

Thomas Danbolt

Vice president, Large Caliber Ammunition (LCA)

EMAIL thomas.danbolt@nammo.com
TEL +47 470 10 625

Endre Lunde

Senior Vice President, Communications

MAIL P.O. Box 142, NO-2831 Raufoss, Norway
VISIT Enggata 37, 2830 Raufoss, Norway
EMAIL endre.lunde@nammo.com
TEL +4790853270
Thorstein Korsvold, 6 February, 2019

– Range is important. If you can shoot much farther than your opponent, counter-battery fire can simply be disregarded. Your own artillery will be safe, while at the same time you can strike enemy positions with impunity. I think we should not underestimate the consequences of having a range advantage, says Thomas Danbolt, Nammo’s Vice president large caliber ammunition.

Thomas Danbolt, Nammo’s Vice president large caliber ammunition. Photo: Nammo

A hundred years have passed since World War 1, but artillery systems have not gone through the most radical changes. Some special ammunition with a bit of extra range has become available. These have, however, often been marred by lower accuracy, higher cost and difficulties when adapting them to army operational concepts. Artillery units in western countries still mainly fire about as far as their predecessors did in 1918.

But now, Thomas Danbolt believes that is finally about to change:

– Our Russian counterparts have begun to field artillery systems with longer and longer range. At the same time, NATO countries, who have emphasized air forces for a long time, are beginning to look at their ground forces again. U.S. Army is one example: They really want to upgrade their artillery capabilities. And at the same time, we see a technological drive towards shells with much longer range, more precision and relatively speaking, lower cost. All in all, I think we could be in for a bit of a revolution in the coming years, Danbolt says.

Illustration showing different artillery shell and range options. Photo: Nammo

Extreme range

Nammo already has a long history of producing high-performing artillery ammunition. Now, they want to be at the forefront, developing a new generation of shells covering all range requirements.

Nammo’s most ambitious project is a Ramjet-powered, guided artillery shell with a range of up to 150km. The 155MM HE-ExR (extreme range), as it is called, is scheduled for its first live fire tests in 2019.

– In practice, this is a mix of a missile and an artillery shell. We are talking about a range that is five to eight times greater than conventional artillery. With the guidance system, we believe we can consistently hit an area as small as the center of a football field. And even though the payload is somewhat smaller, the destructive force will likely be greater because of the accuracy, Danbolt says.

The Ramjet shell can be fired from every modern 155mm L52 artillery gun – a trait it shares with all of Nammos other long range shells.

Watch our mini-documentary explaining ramjets and their potential role on the battlefield:

Rocket assist and base bleed

Nammo is working on two other projects as well: One is the 155MM HE-LR (long range): A rocket-assisted, guided projectile that can reach 70-85km. The first prototypes have recently been test fired, and development is in its final stages.

The last product is the 155MM HE-ER (extended range). This is an artillery with a 40km+ range. In contrast to its siblings, it is built on conventional technology, only with an added base bleed part that vastly reduces drag and therefore enhances range.

While less spectacular than the others, it could still have a great impact on modern armies, effectively doubling the distance from which they can strike.

– The 40km capable 155MM HE-ER is already available. We did the final testing at Ravlunda in Sweden in 2018. The projectile got to over 40 kilometers every time.

Norway recently approved it for use in their armed forces, and Finland has chosen it for its new K9 Thunder system.

Danbolt sees the 155MM HE-ER (extended range) as a candidate for replacing standard 20km-capable ammunition.

Our two longest range products going out to 80km or 150km are very specialized tools. Their cost could probably be considered high in an artillery context. Our 40km+ capable shell is different: Maybe it’s the least ambitious product, but it could still have the greatest impact. Western armies can now double their range, without any fuss or system changes. I believe that’s a major change – for the better.

155mm Panzerhaubitze 2000 firing at the Ravlunda test field in Sweden. Photo: Nammo

About the author

Thorstein Korsvold

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