Rolls-Royce Wins B-52 Re-engining Contract
Rolls-Royce has won a competition to re-engine the Boeing B-52H fleet with 608 F130 turbofan engines, the U.S. Defense Department said on Sept. 24.
The Air Force awarded Rolls-Royce a $501 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a six-year base period to integrate the military derivative of the BR.725 turbofan. If all production options are exercised, the program is worth up to $2.6 billion.
The F130 offer was selected over proposals by Pratt & Whitney based on the PW800 and the GE Aviation CF-34 and Passport engines.
The German-built BR.725 engine design will be assembled as the F130 for the Air Force at Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing complex in Indianapolis.
Although the BR.725 was designed to power the Gulfstream G650, a close variant, the BR.710, is installed on the Bombardier Global 6000 fleet. The latter received the F130 designation on the Air Force E-11A fleet.
The Air Force plans to replace all eight Pratt TF33 turbofans on each of the 76 B-52s scheduled to remain in the bomber fleet through the 2050s.
The re-engining is needed to keep the B-52H fleet viable after obsolescence and aging issues make the TF33 engines unsustainable after the early 2030s.