Rolls-Royce offers engine "NEW" for B-52 propulsion modernization (The ...

Rolls-Royce offers engine for B-52 propulsion modernization

WASHINGTON — Rolls-Royce has a pitch for the U.S. Air Force: Pick the
BR725 — a variant of the F130 that powers the E-11 and C-37 aircraft —
to replace the B-52’s aging engines, and the company will set up a new
F130 final assembly and testing to the United States.
“The F130 family of engines that we’re proposing for the propulsion
modernization is already a mostly U.S.-made product, and we’re going to
take the final step in bringing the assembly and test of that to the
U.S., should this program go forward,” Tom Hartmann, Rolls-Royce’s
senior vice president of customer business, said during a Sept. 14
briefing with reporters.
All things considered, the company's announcement is a little
premature. The Air Force still has not decided whether to pursue a
program of record for replacing the Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103
engines, eight of which are used to power one Boeing B-52
Stratofortress. However, industry remains hopeful that a program will
move forward.

Rolls-Royce is the first engine manufacturer to announce its offering
for B-52 engine modernization; however, media had speculated that it
would likely choose one of the engines in its BR-700 family, which is
called F130 in military parlance.
The U.K.-based company has not decided where it would move F130
assembly, but Hartmann denied that the “America First” policies of
President Donald Trump played into the decision.
“We have invested heavily in America over the last 10 years,” he said.
“In fact, recently here at the Indianapolis site we put in $600 million
to modernize our facilities, but we have people in 27 states and are
looking at all possible and sensible options for assembly and test of
the engine.”
After the briefing, a Rolls-Royce spokesman clarified that the
commercial BR700 family of engines, including the BR725, will continue
to be produced in Germany.

For years, the Air Force has deliberated whether to replace the TF33s
with new propulsion systems, but those efforts were reinvigorated in
January when an engine dropped from a B-52 conducting training over
North Dakota.
Although the Air Force has still not announced a definite root cause,
officials such as Gen. Robin Rand, head of Air Force Global Strike
Command, have categorized the mishap as a catastrophic engine failure
that resulted in the protected casing around the TF33 degrading, leading
to the engine detaching from the plane altogether.
Hartmann said he could not speculate on when the Air Force would make a
decision to greenlight a program. However, he sees repeated dialogue
with industry as a sign of positive momentum and expects to see further
requests for information from the service.
“We believe the Air Force wants to keep the B-52 affordable and
relevant for a long time to come, probably another 30 years or so,
through 2050,” he said. “They’re already investing in the aircraft. Most
of the major systems except for the engines have had modernization.
Weapons, radars, comms are in the process of being upgraded.”
The biggest barrier to replacing the TF33 is the Air Force’s crowded
budget, which leaves little room for an engine modernization program,
which Rand previously told Defense News could cost $5 billion to $7
However, proponents of modernization have said buying new engines would
save the service $10 billion if the B-52’s life goes until 2050.
Additionally, upgrading the Stratofortress’ engine would increase its
range and lower fuel consumption.
The Air Force has also investigated alternative financing options, such
as entering into a private-public partnership with industry. Hartmann
said Rolls-Royce had provided the service with several different leasing
options for the BR725 engine.
If a program of record is approved, Rolls-Royce will likely have to
compete against the other manufacturers of military engines.
Pratt & Whitney has maintained that the most cost-efficient option
is to upgrade the existing TF33 systems. General Electric has not
specified what engine it could offer, but Richard Aboulafia, an analyst
with the Teal Group, said the TF34 could be a formidable competitor.
Hartman estimates the service could buy as many as 650 engines total.

CLICK SUBSCRIBE . .. . Update Military News- Subscribe Disini Atau Bisa Langsung Menekan Tombol Youtube Subscribe dan Facebook LIKE Berikut ini...