Rolls-Royce North America has been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), further extending a long history of powering the United States Air Force (USAF).
Image courtesy Rolls-Royce
The decision means the Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years. The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.
The F130 and its commercial family of engines have accumulated more than 27 million engine flight hours. A variant of the Rolls-Royce engine selected to power the iconic B-52 is already in service with the USAF around the world, powering both the C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft.
Tom Bell, Chairman & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America and President – Defense, 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.”
The F130 offers outstanding reliability with high mission readiness and low maintenance demands. Once installed, the F130 can stay on wing for the entire planned B-52 lifetime. In addition, the F130 engine will provide vastly greater fuel efficiency, increased range and reduced tanker aircraft requirements. As importantly, the engine is ready for integration using Rolls-Royce state-of-the-art Digital Engineering tools.
Rolls-Royce will build and test the F130 engines at its Indianapolis, Indiana, facility following the recent completion of a $600 million investment to revitalise the advanced manufacturing campus - providing some of the most technologically advanced state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities anywhere in the world. The B-52 CERP win creates demand for 650 engines to be produced at the site and will bring 150 new high-tech, high-skilled jobs for the state of Indiana.
Craig McVay, SVP Strategic Campaigns, Rolls-Royce Defense said: “This is a major win for Rolls-Royce. 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 Air Force and the B-52. Our employees stand prepared to deliver once again for the men and women who protect our freedoms every day.”
Rolls-Royce has a long and successful history providing the power to protect for US military customers, having delivered thousands of engines to the USAF for more than 70 years. Rolls-Royce powers C-130H, C-130J, CV-22 Osprey and Global Hawk in the USAF fleet – all engines designed and manufactured in Indianapolis.
“We couldn’t have reached this outcome on our own,” stated Tom. “Rolls-Royce is deeply appreciative of the strong support we have received from partners at the federal, state and city level. Thank you for all you’ve done to support our bid. This is a truly great day for Rolls-Royce, the State of Indiana, City of Indianapolis and the future of the B-52 programme.”