Joint US-Norway THOR-ER Hypersonic Rocket Engine Completes Critical Test - Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th October, 2022) A hypersonic rocket engine jointly created by the United States and Norway known as the Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) completed an important developmental test in August, the US Defense Department said on Wednesday.

"The THOR-ER program team, a collaborative effort between the United States and Norway to develop a solid fuel ramjet (SFRJ) vehicle, achieved an important milestone on August 17, at Andoya in northern Norway. The test vehicle successfully fired several times, showing the viability of ramjet propulsion technology and demonstrating significant increases in effective range," the Defense Department said in a statement.

In April 2020, the defense Department said the THOR-ER defense project seeks to create solid fuel rocket engines that enable missiles to achieve hypersonic speeds.

The Norwegian aerospace partner Nammo said investment in the technology is meant to close the gap between the United States and potential adversaries in the area of propulsion and Russian and Chinese demonstrations of hypersonic technology have compelled Washington to intensify hypersonic research and development efforts.

The Defense Department said in the statement that the tests conducted in August have demonstrated the use of new high-energy fuels, throttling methodologies and air injection systems. The SFRJ flight vehicle was accelerated above Mach 2 with the help of a solid rocket booster and then transitioned into ramjet mode, the statement added.

The THOR-ER program builds on collaborative research efforts involving the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, Nammo and other defense partners, according to the statement.