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.
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