Atlantic Research is to develop a solid-fuel ramjet engine for Lockheed Martin and the US Navy which could lead to fielding of affordable hypersonic tactical missiles.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the solid fuel ramjet missile technology programme sponsored by the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake, California.

It is hoped that the 18-month research effort will develop a ramjet propulsion system with an air-breathing solid-fuel ramjet and carbon-carbon structural components. ARC will be responsible for designing the advanced powerplant for ground testing.

Lockheed Martin is working under a $2.2 million US Navy contract. A solid-fuel ramjet-powered missile emerging from the project could lead to the development of a supersonic cruise missile and an advanced land attack missile.

The USN may well launch a joint supersonic cruise missile advanced concept technology demonstration during fiscal year 2002. Both liquid fuel and solid fuel powerplants could be tested in the ACTD.

Source: Flight International