The British manufacturer of aircraft engines Rolls-Royce will supply new engines for the American B-52 bombers. This means that the obsolete aircraft will have to last for years. The deal is worth up to $ 2.6 billion, the Pentagon has announced.
Rolls-Royce, which will have the job done by its North American branch, has won a base contract of 501 million dollars for the supply of 608 engines for a total of 76 B-52s from the United States Air Force. Each aircraft has eight engines. But there are also many options with the deal, which can increase the amount for the manufacturer. Rolls-Royce will also supply spare parts.
The B-52 was put into service in the Fifties and was used during the Vietnam War. The heavy bombers are still important for the US in the current era of drone technology. Recently, B-52s were used to provide air cover for the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Americans want to keep the aircraft in service until about 2050. But for that it is necessary that the devices get an upgrade. The US government is estimated to spend about 11 billion dollars on this. For example, new displays need to be installed in the cockpit.
For the delivery of the new engines several manufacturers were in the race. General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, who made the engines that the B-52s now fly around, also made a proposal. But in the end, Rolls-Royce was preferred. It is not the car manufacturer Rolls-Royce, by the way. The automotive division has not been part of the industrial group since the 1970s. Cars with the name Rolls-Royce are now produced under the flag of the German BMW.