The US Air Force has chosen Rolls-Royce to provide engines for its B-52 Stratofortress bombers, press release from a British engineering firm reveals. The company will manufacture F-130 engines at its plant in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a replacement engine for the bombers.
The decision was made after a trilateral competition, called Commercial engine replacement program (CERP), between GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. This means that Rolls-Royce will provide its engines for the B-52 over the next 30 years. The US Air Force’s B-52 aircraft has been powered by Pratt engines since the 1960s, although they will be retired by 2030-last year by USAF engineers. 3D printed anti-icing seal for Turbofan engine B-52s Pratt & Whitney TF33-P103 as a sign of the aging supply chain of the aircraft.
The CERP project is just one part of USAF’s efforts to update the B-52. According to to AirForceMag, the iconic aircraft will also receive a new radar, new connectivity improvements and a digital cockpit. The Air Force hopes that these updates, including F-130 engines, will allow it to continue using B-52 bombers until the 2050s. CERP is expected to provide up to 40 percent more range and fuel economy for the B-52. Watch a video showing the Rolls-Royce F-130 engines below.
Rolls-Royce engines deliver “significantly greater fuel efficiency”
The F-130 is the military name given to the Rolls-Royce advertisement BR725 engine, used in a number of commercial business aircraft and aircraft, including the Boeing 717. According to to Rolls-Royce, produces its B-52 F-130 engine 17,000 pounds of traction and the company said that in 2019 the new USAF contract will add more than 150 new jobs to its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.
The new deal between the US Air Force and Rolls-Royce outlines an initial six-year deal of $ 500 million, although that could rise to $ 2.6 billion if extended in the long term, according to report from Reuters. Boeing, which produces the B-25, will test the first of Rolls-Royce’s F-130 engines by 2025.
That’s what Tom Bell, chairman and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, said “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. The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is ideal for B-52. ” In a statement, Rolls-Royce said its F-130 engine would provide the US Air Force with “significantly greater fuel efficiency”. The F-130 engine is now in service with USAF’s C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft and has a combined combined flight time of 27 million hours, according to the British company.