After decades of trying, the B-52 will finally get new engines with Rolls Royce being tapped for the contract that could be worth up to $2.6B.
The Pentagon has revealed that the U.S. Air Force has chosen Rolls-Royce's North American division to supply F130 turbofans to re-engine its fleet of B-52H bombers. This upgrade program, which has been years, if not decades, in the making, is a major milestone for the service's B-52H fleet and will help ensure those bombers keeping flying through 2050.
Details about the deal were included in today's edition of the Pentagon's daily contracting notice, which includes information about all awards valued over $7.5 million. Rolls-Royce's new contract from the Air Force is valued at $500,870,458 over the next six years but could grow to over $2.6 billion if all of its options are exercised.
"The TF33, which has powered the B-52H since the very first of these bombers entered service in the 1960s, is also just a dated, inefficient, low-bypass design. “Once installed, the F130 will provide vastly greater fuel efficiency while increasing range and reducing tanker aircraft requirements,” Rolls-Royce's website notes. This was another major factor for the Air Force in deciding whether or not to proceed with the re-engining effort."