Rolls Royce wins US Air Force contract worth $2.6b

Rolls Royce wins US Air Force contract worth $2.6b
File photo.

The US arm of Britain's Rolls Royce won a contract worth up to $2.6 billion Friday to supply engines for the US Air Force's B-52H bomber fleet, the Air Force announced.

The company's Indianapolis, Indiana manufacturing unit was awarded a $500.9 million "indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity" contract over six years for replacement engines for the B-52s, the long-range Stratofortress bombers that have been a mark of US strategic power since the 1950s.

The contract has a potential total value of $2.6 billion "if all options are exercised," the Air Force said.

The Air Force chose Rolls Royce for the contract ahead of GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney.

Rolls-Royce was given an initial six-year $501M base contract to supply 608 engines for installation on the Air Force's 76 active-duty and reserve B-52s. 

GE's bids included its CF34-10 and Passport engines, while Raytheon's Pratt & Whitney offered its PW800. 

The Pentagon says the work will be performed at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis, where the company says it has invested more than $600M in advanced manufacturing and technology. 

Rolls-Royce also could be a beneficiary of Australia's recent switch to nuclear-powered submarines away from a planned purchase of French diesel vessels.