Rolls-Royce has selected Indianapolis as the location to build its proposed F130 turbofan engine for the U.S. Air Force B-52 re-engining competition.
The B-52 re-engining program will include 650 new engines for the iconic B-52 strategic bomber fleet. If selected, Rolls-Royce will add more than 150 new manufacturing, engineering, program management and similar jobs in Indianapolis. This program would provide a boost to an existing, widespread U.S. supply chain, and the majority of the F130 parts would be produced in the United States.
Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce, President – Defense, said: “Our ultra-modern, advanced manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis are the perfect location to produce, assemble, and test the Rolls-Royce F130 engine for the U.S. Air Force B-52 program. Rolls-Royce North America continues to invest heavily in advanced manufacturing and technology at our Indianapolis site, making it one of the most efficient and modern facilities anywhere in the aerospace world.
”Just as Indianapolis is the perfect choice for this new assembly line, the Rolls-Royce F130 engine is the perfect fit for the B-52 aircraft – an American-made engine which is powerful, affordable, efficient and proven. We look forward to working with the Air Force and Boeing to keep the engine modernization program low-risk and affordable through our advanced digital capabilities.”
The F130 engine for the B-52, which produces 17,000 pounds of thrust, is a variant of the proven Rolls-Royce BR725 commercial engine. The F130 series of engines already power aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet, including the E-11A and C-37 aircraft.
A $600 million Rolls-Royce investment in modernization and technology programs is nearing completion in Indiana, including state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing at its Indianapolis facilities – paving the way for optimized production of an engine in this size class.
U.S. Senator Todd Young said: “Indiana is fortunate to have companies like Rolls-Royce producing equipment for our military so our troops never have to fight a fair fight. Hoosier workers are highly skilled and motivated, and I’m hopeful these jobs land in Indiana.”
U.S. Congressman André Carson, 7th District – Indiana, said: “I want to congratulate Rolls-Royce on this exciting announcement, which is just the latest example of your historic commitment to our City and State. I’ve been proud to work with your organization for over a decade, bringing advanced technology to America’s war fighters. You continue to drive our economy, while making Indy a hub for high-tech, high-skilled jobs and a robust Defense industry base.”
Elaine Bedel, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, President, said: “Rolls-Royce and its predecessors have been operating in Indiana for more than 100 years, propelling innovation and advanced manufacturing forward and supporting thousands of quality careers for Hoosiers. The company’s significant and ongoing investment in its Indianapolis site makes today’s decision possible. And we are confident that, if selected, Indiana’s skilled and dedicated workforce will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the B-52 re-engining program, helping our U.S. armed forces take flight for generations to come.”
Indianapolis is the largest Rolls-Royce engineering, design and manufacturing site in the U.S. The company produces engines for multiple U.S. Air Force aircraft at Indianapolis, including the C-130J transport, CV-22 Osprey and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. Other Rolls-Royce engines manufactured in Indianapolis and elsewhere power a wide array of aircraft and ships for all services of the U.S. military — the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard.
Rolls-Royce employs 6,000 people in 27 states across the U.S., literally coast-to-coast, from southern California to Walpole, Massachusetts. In addition, Rolls-Royce business supports more than 52,000 jobs across the U.S., adding nearly $9 billion to the nation’s economy each year.
Rolls-Royce has invested nearly $1 billion in Research and Development in the US since 2013.