Aerojet Tests Advanced Solid Fuel for Ramjets

August 10, 2010

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced today that it has successfully tested an advanced solid ramjet fuel in an engine ground test. The fuel is being developed to provide long-range, high-speed capability for the U.S. military and potentially for the future USAF/Navy Joint Dual Role Air Dominance Missile (JDRADM).

Ramjet engines have historically used liquid fuel which mixes with atmospheric air in order to provide thrust at high speed. However, for tactical missiles, the military services have expressed interest in a storable solid fuel. In order to meet this need, Aerojet developed the world’s first throttleable solid-fueled ramjet for the U.S. Navy GQM-163A Coyote missile target starting in the year 2000. Since that time, Aerojet has been developing a family of advanced formulations called AerGen™ fuels with properties suitable for a tactical missile ramjet engine. The fuel burns very efficiently, resulting in more delivered energy and reduced visible exhaust.

The ground testing was conducted at Aerojet’s Airbreathing Test Facility located in Orange County, Va. A full-scale engine was tested at conditions simulating high-altitude, high-speed flight. “Our airbreathing propulsion business represents cutting-edge technology aimed at future military requirements,” said Aerojet Vice President and Deputy to the President, Dick Bregard. “Aerojet is proud to demonstrate our commitment to advancing our country’s military capability through this innovative ramjet fuel research.”