Military Aviation

Pratt & Whitney to offer PW815 for B-52 re-engine program

The PW815 is rated at 16,011 lbf and currently powers the Gulfstream G600 business jet

Jane’s says Pratt & Whitney is likely to offer its PW815 engine for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) highly-anticipated Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber re-engining program.

“Our primary focus is TF33 sustainment,” Pratt & Whitney military engines president Matthew Bromberg told Jane’s on 12 June at parent company United Technology Corp’s (UTC’s) digital accelerator tech hub in the Dumbo neighbourhood of Brooklyn. “That being said, we think the PW815 is a very compelling engine.”

The turbofan is rated at 16,011 lbf and currently powers the Gulfstream G600 business jet.

The USAF is gearing up to start the process of getting new engines for the B-52 bomber in the first quarter of 2019.

A winner will be selected four to six months after final proposals are submitted.

The department is looking to acquire at least 608 new, commercially available turbofan engines to replace the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33s each bomber carries.

The USAF decided last June that the TF33, a jet engine first produced 60 years ago, is not sustainable beyond 2030, due to age, parts obsolescence and a shrinking supplier base. Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation are possible bidders for the engine replacement programme.

As explained by Tom Hartmann, Rolls Royce (R-R) North America’s senior vice-president of customer business, the USAF plan to reconfigure the B-52 with four engines would require expensive modifications to the wings. Noteworthy R-R previously considered a higher thrust variant of the RB211 turbofan engine as a four-engine option on the B-52, but the service does not appear to be moving in that direction.

“Our BR700 is right in the sweet spot,” Hartmann said last September. “It’s almost a perfect one-for-one fit from a thrust and a size standpoint.”

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”.

Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright / U.S. Air Force and Matti Blume via Wikipedia

Artwork courtesy of

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.

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