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09:50 AM, February 26, 2019
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Rolls-Royce to Offer F130 to Replace USAF B-52 Bomber Engines
Rolls Royce offers F130 engine for USAF B-52 bombers (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce will offer F130 engine as its entrant for the United States Air Force B-52 bomber re-engining competition to replace the Pratt & Whitney TF33 engine.

The company plans to build a powerplant at its renovated Indianapolis facility if it wins the competition, Rolls-Royce Vice President for Military Strategic Systems John Kusnierek was quoted as saying by Airforcemag during a telecon Monday.

General Electric and Pratt & Whitney also are expected to offer engines for the B-52 program. The fiscal year 2020 defense budget request is expected to offer details on the timeline of the B-52 re-engining program.  

The F130 engine is a variant of the commercial BR700 engine. Rolls Royce said it has invested over $600 million in the last few years in its Indianapolis plant.

Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper said last September he anticipates a “digital flyoff” among competing engines for the B-52 work.

Kusnierek said the F130—also flying on USAF’s E-11 BACN and C-37—will undergo final assembly, test, and integration in Indianapolis, but declined to discuss the specific amount of US part content, saying only there is “variety” in the F130 supply chain. The F130 will be an “American” engine, he asserted.

The service seeks a one-for-one replacement of the TF33, with new powerplants clustered in four two-engine nacelles per jet. For its fleet of 76 B-52s, the Air Force needs over 600 engines, plus some spares. Rolls pegged the requirement at 650 engines.

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