Rolls-Royce nails contract for B-52 bomber engines

The US Air Force plans to maintain its B-52 Stratofortress plane in operation till about 2050 and the engine replacements type a part of a wider $11bn improve plan.

Tom Bell, chief government of Rolls-Royce North America, mentioned: “The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is the perfect fit for the B-52.”

The B-52 is the US Air Force’s oldest bomber and flew its first missions in the course of the Cold War within the Fifties carrying nuclear bombs. Nicknamed BUFF – Big Ugly Fat Fellow – it was most not too long ago deployed to assist the US withdraw from Afghanistan.

Rolls-Royce mentioned it had invested $600m in its Indianapolis web site, the place 650 engines might be manufactured. The contract win will even create 150 new jobs within the space.

The British group has been a provider to the US Air Force for greater than 70 years, making engines for jets together with the Osprey and Global Hawk.

The win got here as Rolls-Royce finalised the €1.7bn sale of its ITP Aero division to a consortium of consumers led by personal fairness agency Bain Capital.

It had been in unique talks with Bain since final month over the sale of the Spanish plane engine unit, which makes jets for fighters such because the Typhoon in addition to generators used to energy airliners such because the Airbus A350.

The consortium additionally contains Madrid-based JB Capital and industrial group Sapa, with different native industrial companions anticipated to affix subsequent year.

The sale of ITP, which is predicated in Spain’s Basque area, has confirmed politically delicate because of the space’s separatist historical past.

The deal contains agreements to maintain the company as an unbiased entity led by present boss Carlos Alzola, with headquarters to stay in Zamudio, close to Bilbao.

The sale types a key a part of plans outlined by Warren East, Rolls-Royce chief government, to make disposals value £2bn by March 2022.

The company not too long ago bought its Bergen marine engines operation, in addition to its stake in Air Tanker, which gives in-flight refuelling providers for the RAF.

The disposals are meant to shore up Rolls-Royce’s steadiness sheet after a collapse in air journey in the course of the pandemic left the FTSE 100 agency scrambling for money.

The engineer raised greater than £7bn in emergency funding final year, whereas it introduced plans to chop roughly 9,000 jobs – nearly a fifth of its world workforce – to assist slash prices.

Mr East mentioned: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for our disposal programme as we work to strengthen our balance sheet, in support of our medium-term ambition to return to an investment grade credit profile.”

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