Aaron Mehta writes that Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, head of the USAF Global Strike Command, believes upgrading the B-52 engines could help the branch generate long-term fuel and maintenance cost savings.
“I’m hearing from industry that is saying they are putting engines on airplanes today and they won’t take them off-wing for over 20 years, so there’s [also] a manpower savings in this,” Wilson told reporters at a Mitchell Institute-hosted event last week.
“If there is a commercially available engine which can give a 25-30 percent increase in either range or loiter, you have my attention,” he added, according to the report.
Mehta reports Pratt & Whitney-made turbofan engines power the Air Force’s existing Boeing B-52 fleet.
Richard Aboulafia, a Teal Group analyst, suggested the Pratt & Whitney PW2000 engine used on Boeing 757 commercial jets and C-17 military cargo planes would be a good alternative to the current bomber engine.
A Pratt & Whitney spokesperson indicated the company is discussing potential B-52 engine options with the service, according to Defense News.