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USAF weighs up concerns and contenders for B-52H engine replacement

12th April 2021 - 16:06 GMT | by Ian Parker in Portsmouth


A B-52H Stratofortress sits on the flightline on Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. (Photo: USAF/Airman 1st Class Jesse Jenny)

Three bidders are vying for a lucrative contract to replace more than 600 engines powering the B-52H but the USAF faces a tricky decision.

Three aero-engine manufacturers and their respective supply chains are awaiting a USAF decision on the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP) for its B-52H Stratofortress fleet of 77 aircraft.

Although this is a small fleet compared with others in the USAF, each aircraft has eight engines so the lucrative re-engining contract will be for at least 616 engines. This will generate work worth up to $2 billion, but the big issue is risk because of the sheer age of the fleet.

The last B-52Hs were built in 1962 and re-engining such an old airframe is hardly straightforward. If the CERP proceeds, …

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