Military Aviation

B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program RFP is out. Award Expected July 2021.

GE Aviation, Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney unit, and Rolls-Royce have all said they will compete.

On May 19, 2020 the US Air Force (USAF) issued its request for proposal (RFP) on the B-52H Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), calling for responses by July and a contract award expected in June 2021.

GE Aviation, Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney unit, and Rolls-Royce have all said they will compete.

CF34-10s, which powers commercial aircraft like Bombardier and Embraer regional jets, and Passport turbofans, which power Bombardier’s Global 7500 business jet are the two engines that GE Aviation plans to offer. The PW800 engine, which powers Gulfstream G500 and G600 business jets, is the engine that plans to offer Pratt & Whitney. Finally, R-R plans to offer the F130 engine (shown in the main image of this post), a military derivative of the company’s BR700, which is also the engine of Gulfstream business jets and other aircraft.

A total of 608 engines plus additional spare engines and support equipment are required. They are to be delivered over 17 years. For prototyping purposes, USAF will start with 20 engines—16 for two aircraft plus four spares.

The program office assesses “significant risk” in “integrating current technology commercial engines on the 1950s-era B-52 aircraft technology,” according to justification documents. According to Air Force Magazine, the heavily-redacted documents conclude that GE, Pratt, and Rolls are likely to be able to meet service requirements. Two other companies—their names redacted in the documents—“did not submit a viable solution” for the requirement. 

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. B-52H Stratofortress 2nd BW, 20th BS, LA/60-0008 “Lucky Lady IV”.

The USAF’s B-52Hs’ engines are the Pratt & Whitney TF33-PW-103s which have powered the aircraft since the early 1960s. The TF33 is based on the commercial JT3D that powered the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. Each Stratofortress has eight engines.

The USAF is looking for a replacement engine that has a similar size, thrust and weight compared to the legacy P&W powerplants. Each of those engines generate 17,000lb-thrust (75.7kN). The service also wants a modern turbofan with a higher bypass ratio and digital engine controls. It wants that engine to have reduced fuel consumption, noise, emissions and operating costs.

The Air Force has said that it expects fuel savings will pay for the cost of the re-engining program, which would also drive a reduction in maintainers assigned to the airplane. With the fuel efficiency, USAF is also looking for an increase in persistence or range of up to 40 percent.

The re-engining is the centerpiece of an overall B-52 technology refresh that will also include new radars, connectivity enhancements, and capability for new weapons, such as hypersonic missiles. Boeing, the original prime on the B-52, will handle integration of the new engines.  

The B-52 is slated to remain in service through 2050.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

US Navy Operations Specialist explains why Ukrainian F-16s will most probably win BVR engagements against Russian Su-35s

Ukrainian F-16s Vs Russian Su-35s American-made F-16 fighters will arrive in Ukraine this summer: in… Read More

9 hours ago

The Minerve (i.e. a sort of ‘tricolor B-58 Hustler’) and the French bombers that never were

The French bombers that never were: the Mirage IVB and the Minerve In 1957, when… Read More

9 hours ago

Dragon Lady retirement moves forward: USAF retires U-2 Tail 80-1085 as her pilot conducts their 1,085 solo flight

Beale retires U-2 Tail 80-1085 as her pilot conducts their 1,085 solo flight On Apr.… Read More

1 day ago

USAF Avionics Technician explains why Scaled Composites ARES was like a mini A-10 Warthog

The Scaled Composites ARES Agile Responsive Effective Support (ARES) is a full-scale proof-of-concept demonstrator that… Read More

2 days ago

An Omega KDC-10 is the first commercial tanker to refuel USAF B-52, MC-130J over Pacific Ocean

Omega KDC-10 commercial tanker refuels USAF B-52, MC-130J over Pacific Ocean As Pacific Air Forces… Read More

2 days ago