The announcement of an engine replacement contract for the B-52 is “imminent” and may happen before month’s end, Air Force Magazine reported.
Air Force acquisition official Lt. Gen. Duke Z. Richardson told reporters at the Air, Space & Cyber Conference that the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP) is close to awarding the winning contract.
USAF acquisition executive Darlene Costello echoed Richardson’s remarks, saying that the evaluation process is in the final stages and an announcement will likely come before the end of this month. However, she added that “it could be faster.”
So far, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce have all submitted proposals that USAF officials have compared digitally.
GE has proposed its Passport engine, Pratt & Whitney its PW800, and Rolls Royce proposed its F130 engine.
The Commercial Engine Replacement Program
Under the CERP, USAF is looking to replace all eight engines in at least 76 B-52 bombers. The program seeks a total of 608 power plants and additional spares.
The air force is looking to prolong the life of the B-52 system with the new engines, until at least 2050.
The program, according to analysts, could incur up to $10 billion in costs, but may eventually pay for itself due to the maintenance and repairs that it will help the force avoid in the long run.