The Air Force closed on Wednesday the window for Pratt & Whitney, General Electric's aviation business and Rolls-Royce to submit their proposals for a program to replace the engines of its fleet of 76 Boeing-built B-52 Stratofortress bombers, Breaking Defense reported.
The service issued in May a solicitation for the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program, which will cover 608 new engines, spares and related support services to keep the aircraft operational through 2050.
Chris Johnson, vice president of fighter and mobility programs at Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, told the publication the company is offering its PW800 engine for the B-52 CERP program and that the Air Force stands to benefit from its maintenance and repair facilities and “warm supply chain.”
GE Aviation said in a white paper the company is proposing two engines – Passport and CF34-10 – for the program and that it “has successfully completed more aircraft re-enginings for the U.S. Air Force than any other company.”
Adam Riddle, executive vice president for business development and future programs at Rolls-Royce, said in a statement the company’s F130 is the affordable engine option for B-52 and “has already completed early testing at our Indianapolis facilities, confirming the design and performance are an exact match for the aircraft.”
The Air Force expects the contract award to occur by the last quarter of 2021 and the production phase to kick off in the second quarter of 2027.