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US awards contract for new B-52 engines to Rolls Royce, ST Engineering's nacelle bid remains

·2-min read

In a December 2019 report, defence journal Jane’s estimates that the contract value of each nacelle is US$7 million.

Rolls-Royce Holdings has been awarded the contract to provide new engines for the US Air Force’s fleet of B-52 bombers, beating out rivals General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.

Meanwhile, ST Engineering, remains in the running to win a separate but related contract to supply the engine nacelles via its US subsidiary MRAS, which used to be owned by General Electric.

“The nacelle selection has not yet been decided, and we continue to engage our stakeholders with regards to the nacelle solutions we can offer,” says an ST Engineering spokesperson on Sept 25.

The nacelle is to be decided by Boeing, the aircraft maker, and not Rolls Royce, the engine supplier.

MRAS, Middle River Aerostructure Systems, was sold by GE to ST Engineering in 2019 for US$506 million ($683 million).

MRAS was one of ST Engineering’s largest acquisitions to date and was seen as a key step to drive the company’s aerospace engineering business.

Each plane has eight engines and two engines are attached to each nacelle.

In a December 2019 report, defence journal Jane’s estimates that the contract value of each nacelle is US$7 million.

According to the US government on Sept 24, Rolls-Royce won an initial US$501 million, six-year deal to supply 608 engines and spares for the fleet of 76 B-52s.

The contract value of the engine replacement can be up to US$2.6 billion if all options are exercised.

If other upgrading in areas such as new flight systems are included, US$11 billion will be spent to keep the B-52s in service till 2050. The first B-52s flew in the early 1950s.

ST Engineering shares closed last Friday, Sept 24 at $3.86, down 0.26% for the day and up 0.78% year to date.

Photo by Andrew Coop on Unsplash

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