Rolls-Royce Gearing Up for B-52 Re-Engining Program

Depiction of B-52 engine nacelles with RR F-130 engine. (source: Rolls-Royce)

Depiction of B-52 engine nacelles with RR F-130 engine. (source: Rolls-Royce)

March 6, 2019 | Source: National Defense Magazine, nationaldefensemagazine.org, Yasmin Tadjdeh, 25 February 2019

Rolls-Royce is unveiling its manufacturing plans as it pursues the Air Force's much anticipated B-52H re-engining program.

The service is planning to embark on a major recapitalization effort that will outfit its aging fleet of B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers with new engines that will keep them flying through the 2050s. Each bomber is currently equipped with eight Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines. It is anticipated that the Air Force will procure a total of 650 new systems for the aircraft.

Should Rolls-Royce prevail in the industry competition, it intends to build the new engines — which will be based off its F130 system — in Indiana, the organization announced Feb. 25.

“The F130 is a great engine for the B-52,” said John Kusnierek, Rolls-Royce’s B-52 capture lead. “If we win the engine competition, we will establish the F130 assembly line at our upgraded Indianapolis manufacturing facilities.”

The F130 — with a thrust of 17,000 pounds — is an ideal system for the bomber, Kusnierek told defense reporters during a conference call.

“It has a great balance of technology, proven reliability and fuel efficiency,” he said. “We believe that the engine is an outstanding fit for the B-52 and will meet all of the requirements of the B-52 re-engine program.”


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