The U.S. Air Force plans to issue a request for proposals in March for a planned contract to replace the engines of the aging B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.
Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced the RFP for the B-52 re-engining program at the recent Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
The Air Force aims to keep the B-52 operational through the 2050s by procuring 650 new engine systems that will replace the TF33 engines currently in use. Roper noted that officials may use other transaction authority agreements to develop prototypes.
The Air Force expects to award a contract by fiscal year 2020. Pratt & Whitney, the manufacturer of the TF33, is expected to compete, along with Rolls Royce, which plans to offer its F130 system, and General Electric, which said last year it might offer either its CF34-10 or Passport engines.