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September 27, 2021updated 28 Sep 2021 5:18am

Rolls-Royce wins $2.6bn contract to replace B-52H bomber fleet engines

The USAF chose Rolls-Royce F130 engines for B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program.

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Rolls-Royce a $2.6bn contract to replace the engines on its B-52H Stratofortress bomber fleet.

The competitive single award contract will see Rolls-Royce supply F-130 engines for all of the USAF’s Air Force Global Strike Command’s (AFGSC) B-52H bombers.

Under the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), the company was selected following a rigorous multi-year competitive bid.

The US-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will keep the bomber fleet flying for the next three decades.

Rolls-Royce plans to build and test the engines at its Indianapolis facility, which recently underwent a $600m manufacturing upgrade.

According to the USAF, the contract includes the provision of 608 military derivative commercial engines, spare engines and related support equipment.

It also includes provision of commercial engineering data, including sustainment activities in support of the fleet.

Rolls-Royce North America chairman and CEO and Defense president Tom Bell said: “We are proud to join a truly iconic US Air Force programme and provide world-class, American-made engines that will power its missions for the next 30 years.

“The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is the perfect fit for the B-52.”

Rolls-Royce’s F130 engine will replace the Pratt & Whitney’s TF33-PW-103, which has powered the bomber fleet since the 1960s.

The B-52 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Boeing will be responsible for integrating the engines onto the long-range, large-payload multirole bomber aircraft.

The first lot of B-52H modified aircraft is expected to be delivered by the end of 2028, with delivery of the first two fully modified B-52s scheduled for 2025.

Furthermore, the entire fleet is anticipated to complete modification by 2035.

Rolls-Royce Defense Strategic Campaigns SVP Craig McVay said: “We’ve been planning and preparing for this outcome and are ready to hit the ground running to prove that we are the best choice for the airforce and the B-52.

“Our employees stand prepared to deliver once again for the men and women who protect our freedoms every day.”

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