The United States Air Force (USAF) has chosen Rolls-Royce North America to supply the F130 engines for its B-52 Stratofortress aircraft for the next 30 years under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP).
Variants of the F130 engines are already in service with the USAF, powering the C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft.
Rolls-Royce beat rivals General Electric and Pratt & Whitney to the contract.
“We are proud to join a truly iconic U.S. Air Force program and provide world-class, American-made engines that will power its missions for the next 30 years,” said Tom Bell, Chairman & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, and President – Defense. “The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is the perfect fit for the B-52.”
Rolls-Royce plans to build and test the F130 engines at its Indiana-based workshop after having invested $600 million recently in the facility.
“This is a major win for Rolls-Royce,” said Craig McVay, SVP Strategic Campaigns, Rolls-Royce Defense, in a statement on September 24, 2021. “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.”
Rolls-Royce indicated that the B-52 CERP program would result in demand for 650 engines from the Indiana facility, leading to 150 new high-skilled jobs.
The B-52 Stratofortress aircraft is a long-range strategic bomber aircraft built and designed by Boeing in the 1950s. The plane can carry weapon payloads up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kilograms) and fly more than 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometers) without aerial refueling. It is propelled by eight engines and was designed to carry nuclear-based bombs for missions during the cold war.
USAF currently operates 58 of the B-52 bombers in its fleet.