The U.S. Air Force has awarded Rolls-Royce a $2.6 billion contract to replace the engines on its B-52H Stratofortress bomber fleet.

The F130 engine for the B-52, which produces 17,000 pounds of thrust, is a variant of the Rolls-Royce BR725 commercial engine.

According to a statement from the company:

“Rolls-Royce North America has been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), further extending a long history of powering the United States Air Force. The decision means the American-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years. The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.

The F130 and its commercial family of engines have accumulated more than 27 million engine flight hours. The F130 is the perfect fit for the B-52 with proven reliability, superb life cycle cost, and low integration risk. A variant of the Rolls-Royce engine selected to power the iconic B-52 is already in service with the USAF around the world, powering both the C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft.”

Tom Bell, Chairman & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, and President – Defense, was quoted as saying:

“We are proud to join a truly iconic U.S. Air Force program and provide world-class, American-made engines that will power its missions for the next 30 years. The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is the perfect fit for the B-52.”

Rolls-Royce say it will build and test the F130 engines at its Indianapolis, Indiana, facility following the recent completion of a $600 million investment to revitalise the advanced manufacturing campus.

The F130 series of engines already power aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet, including the E-11A and C-37 aircraft.

Rolls-Royce employs 6,000 people in 27 states across the U.S.

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Bill L
Bill L
23 days ago

Decades ago, I recall a team from Barclays was touting the repalcing the 8 engines with 4 RB211, and I think that was in the 1980’s!

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
23 days ago

To see these things still flying, 70 years since first introduction and USAF wants to keep them potentially flying past 100 – Good stuff.

Andy P
Andy P
23 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Yeah its fantastically nuts that these…. basically overgrown jet powered WW2 bombers are still going. And they provide a capability that still works. I think a lot of countries would like to keep a capability like this for ‘just in case’ its just that we can’t all afford it.

Reaper
Reaper
23 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s not about affording it, it more is it an asset worth spending money on..is it needed? USA have lancers and Spirits! Both very capable bombers. Why do they still need B52?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
23 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

I’d imagine its because they’re low cost options. The run-of-the-mill bombing runs are better served by B-52s than say B2s due to the cost of flight, maintenance and flying hours

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago

I think this is the main reason if we consider both China and Russia? “It was obvious why the Pentagon wanted to give the B-52 an anti-ship role nearly 40 years ago. “Range, speed, loiter time and … over-the-horizon communications and array of sensors onboard” are the bomber’s main attributes for maritime operations, the Air Force stated” “B-52s can hold at risk a huge area. “In two hours, two B-52s can monitor 140,000 square miles … of ocean surface,” the airforce stated” “The modifications include compatibility with the 300-mile Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile. Combined with the new radar, the LRASM will… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Nigel Collins
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Lancers are running out or flying hours. They have been used for way to much low level stuff and the availability is through the floor. I think they are about to boneyard 70 of them for spares to keep the remainder flying.

B52 is a long range bomb truck pure an simple. Lots of carrying capacity and lots of weapons cleared for carriage.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
22 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

13 just gone to DM, another 4 gone to other loactions for test etc. That leaves 45 in active inventory but as you say the no. actually available for use at any one time is very poor.

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Especially when you consider they spent about a week refurbishing two old B52s (Wise Guy and Ghost Rider) in the boneyard, that had been in there for at least 10 years. Then flying them out to a maintenance depot, so they could be reconnditioned back into service.

If there’s money and the will, it’s amazing what people can achieve.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

“Lancers are running out or flying hours”

And airframes it appears!

USAF concludes early B-1B retirements
27 SEPTEMBER 2021

“The 17 B-1B aircraft were retired from a fleet of 62, leaving 45 in the active inventory,” the AFGSC said.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/usaf-concludes-early-b-1b-retirements

Last edited 22 days ago by Nigel Collins
Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The Lancers were always my favourite yank bomber, I hope they have a few years left.

Andy P
Andy P
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

While I’ve described them as overgrown WW2 bombers, they can also cart cruise missiles a fair old distance before launching them. I would imagine in most countries armouries they would have been scrapped when the newer fancier aircraft replaced them but the US isn’t most countries.

Alan Davey
Alan Davey
21 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

They can hardly be called WW2 bombers!

Andy P
Andy P
20 days ago
Reply to  Alan Davey

I didn’t call them WW2 bombers though, at the risk of being picky, I called the “overgrown WW2 bombers”. They are basically bigger jet engined aircraft that did the same thing as Lancasters or Flying Fortresses, they were designed to fly high and far and drop a heavy load of bombs in the same vein as their predecessors. They were even doing the same thing in the Vietnam war, their role has evolved though as you would expect and they can now carry cruise etc but they can still lift and shift a shit load of bombs and ‘carpet bomb’… Read more »

Mikem
Mikem
20 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

But they now can carry smart weapons, and targeting pods. The “carpet” bombing is now switched to putting a weapon accurately on a target from over 6 miles away. Also has a self-protection suite and can carry an array of EW pods. The new engines will make it more fuel efficient, give it a longer range and faster.

Andy P
Andy P
20 days ago
Reply to  Mikem

While you’ve gone into much greater detail, I did say they have evolved.

We’ve kind of dived down a rabbit hole here.

Alan Davey
Alan Davey
20 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Sorry, I still don’t agree with your analogy. Let’s just agree to differ.

Andy P
Andy P
20 days ago
Reply to  Alan Davey

“Let’s just agree to differ.” Lets not. This is irking me more than it should, I’ll put my hand up. Maybe if you amplified your disagreement then I could see your point. Here’s a quote from Wiki (yeah I know but it sounds about right). “Beginning with the successful contract bid in June 1946, the B-52 design evolved from a straight wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings. The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.” Kinda sounds like it evolved from its WW2… Read more »

Roger
Roger
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Because you can fit a whole lancer in a B52 bomb bay!

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
22 days ago
Reply to  Roger

B-1 Lancer actually has a larger bomb load than B-52.

Mikem
Mikem
20 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

No, the B-52 can carry 70,000 lbs the B1 – 37,000 lbs

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Cost per flight hour…

B-1’s and B-2’s will be gone in the next decade. Replaced by B-21.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

“Why do they still need B52?” B2 was created to penetrate the Soviet Union against their increasingly sophisticated SAM defences. B52 against a peer would launch ALCM and scarper. B2’s can penetrate. Many B52s would get blown out the sky against Russia unless their jamming was successful. B52 also carry’s a lot! The SIOP envisaged hitting over 800 targets in the Soviet Union at maximum effort. It still exists. With limited numbers of B2s going for high value targets like government bunkers, nuclear and C4 complexes you still need an aircraft to attend to other targets via ALCM or bombs.… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Daniele Mandelli
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
22 days ago

Very much like the plan for B52s and Vulcans then in the past. And I guess not knowing quite where and when these trucks turn up will certainly keep defences strained and looking in all directions. Similar tactic to the ancient Russian types I guess.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes. They could come from anywhere, though the obvious shortest route is still over the pole. And northern Siberia didn’t have much SAM / Fighter wise. I believe most SAM defences are now in the interior priciply around Moscow, with others in key places around Vladivostok, Kamchatkha, and the Kola. In Soviet times they tried to defend the state border too, but they had over 1200 plus SAM sites then and 10,000 radars. An impossibly large area to defend.

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago

👍

BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

We just choose not to, every European countries military budget is really focused on deterrence in the hope they never have to use it and maintaining its industrial base.
In reality if things went hot I don’t think we have anywhere near the numbers or munitions to sustain a long campaign without US support.
The US fleet of B-52s is large enough to level most countries in a short period of time, we have nothing like that in Europe.

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago
Reply to  BB85

During the Libyan campaign we actually ran out of bombs to turn into LGBs. The USAF ferried some across in C17s, followed by a ship. Bit embarrassing really, as that was only 5 days into the campaign.

Expat
Expat
22 days ago
Reply to  BB85
Last edited 22 days ago by Expat
BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Expat

That’s awesome, about time the C130 and c17s potential was unlocked in that way. I think the US could already mount Jassm under the wing but this adds a whole new level. I wonder if its the extender range varient.
One issue though is we are going to want a sovereign or at least joint strike missile with the French which won’t be compatible. Everyone seems to be able to make long range strike missiles these days I just hope this hyper sonic missile doesn’t turn into a white elephant

Expat
Expat
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

That’s about to change. US is developing pallets that can be dropped from C17 or C130s. The pallets once stabilised by parachute releases its payload of missiles. Pretty much any country operating those platforms now has a bomber.

William Griffiths
William Griffiths
23 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Its a bit triggers broom, they have had their airframes replaced, their skin replaced, and all their flight systems replaced twice and are now having their engines replaced (When being originally built they went through 4 different progressively more powerful engine variants).

Mike
Mike
22 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

The B52s are a bit like Trigger’s broom.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
22 days ago
Reply to  Mike

17 new heads and 12 new handles 😆🤣

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
23 days ago

Great choice. Keeps it simple I hope. Even more range out the old bird.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
23 days ago

Great news for RR 👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Exactly.

Keeps RR PLC military and naval power division(s) at the head of generating income and profits so allows that to be the commercial focus.

It is good news for a great company that we all should be proud of.

Paul.P
Paul.P
23 days ago

👏👏👏👏

Geoffi
Geoffi
23 days ago

Will this still be (4×2) engines per airframe, or 4 single engines ? Reason I ask is because RR were originally proposing 4x RB211…
Just wondering if the BUFF will look different after re-engining…

Chris
Chris
23 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

8 engines per airframe. USAF changed the RFP requiring the original engine nacelles to be used for protection from air burst.

Expat
Expat
23 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Among other things there were concerns that 4 engines could cause issues if one failed. Apparently the B52 would need further mods to the tail allow more yaw control to counter the lack of thrust from the failed engine.

Last edited 23 days ago by Expat
luciusjulius
luciusjulius
23 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

The re-engine is part of a larger update for the B-52. Boeing has the contract to fit the new engines and will make the decision as to whether the engines will be placed in the present nacelles or in a twin engine pod. Boeing has already stated that it will remove the nose mounted infrared pods to improve airflow.

James
James
23 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

They are being kept in the existing pod. That’s the whole point of keeping the costs down. Any nacelle redesign or reduction in engine count would mean a significant upgrade to the airframe and inner workings.

luciusjulius
luciusjulius
22 days ago
Reply to  James
Expat
Expat
23 days ago

I’ve been tracking the B52 re engine for past couple of years. I didn’t think RR would win tbh. But great news as RR has had a tough coupleof years.

Separately looks like the F35B couldmissout on new engines. With the US focusing on the A and C variants. UK and other F35B customers will either be stuck with the current F135 or pursue an alternative. The B52 shows us P&W are content for old legacy power plants to stay in use for decades.

Daveyb
Daveyb
23 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I wonder if it would be worth GE/RR looking at redeveloping the F136 again for the F136? It had potentially more growth than the P&W F135.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Fiddling with the B variants engine power would also mean fiddling with the lift fan and its clutch.

I can quite see why nobody wants to mess with that as step (1) of an upgrade path.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
22 days ago

From the sound of it the new engine in contention is larger and so wont fit in the B’s anyway.

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes, that’s what I heard. Hence wondering if there’s scope in re-looking at the F136 engine. The current F135 has issues when fitted to the B variant, where they have been having intermediate and power turbine hairline cracking. If the engine was a variable cycle one like the F136, it may help cool the internals when in a prolonged hover. Having a more powerful engine in the B variant would also help reduce the take-off distance when its carry max weight, which can only be a good thing. As SB says above, the clutch for the lift fan may need… Read more »

expat
expat
22 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The concept was originally to have interchangeable engines from different suppliers F135 and F136, its widely recognised the F136 engine was better. From what I gather GE is now promoting a version of a variable bypass engine but were not asked to consider the B version so the engine design they have worked on is not compatible. Another aspect is the nozzle, the B has a complex nozzle that needs to swivel, there’s just a lot more solve on the B when you re-engine. When you think about the lift fan the design is already old, their could be potential… Read more »

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
22 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

If I recall correctly there was an announcement when penny mordant was defence secretary of rolls Royce getting funds to work on vertical lift technology, most people speculated this was drone related but it was later confirmed to be improvements to the f35 lift fan.

DaveyB
DaveyB
21 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

I wonder If by using the Rolls Royce internal shaft generator would mean that you could use a larger diameter engine? Normally the ancillaries such as the generator, pumps etc are stuck on the outside of the engine, which uses up space and limits how the engine is packaged in the airframe.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Does that sound at all familiar: like a rerun of SHAR vs GR upgrades?

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago

Yep, as the SHAR was basically the GR3 airframe, it couldn’t take the larger diameter Pegasus used in the AV8B airframe, hence why it was pensioned off.

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Killing that programme was another master stroke by the US gov! It gave P&W a virtual monopoly on development and maintenance for decades. Nothing like looking after number one!!!!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Expat

It appears so for the moment.

“Jennifer Latka, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for the F135 engine program, said the AETP technology is not compatible with the Marine Corps’ F-35B.

That would necessitate two different alternative engines for F-35.
The whole effort could add up to $40 billion over the 50-year life of the program, she said in an interview with Air Force Magazine..”

https://www.airforcemag.com/pratt-pushes-alternative-to-new-adaptive-engine-for-f-35/

Last edited 22 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive, has previously acknowledged that the F-35 engine will likely need increased power and thermal management to accommodate Block 4 technologies.”

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/08/12/the-pentagon-is-exploring-its-options-for-a-more-efficient-and-powerful-f-35-engine/

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

What one, the AETP engine is slightly fatter, so they’ll end up with two different engines anyway?

Expat
Expat
22 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yeah it’s no surprise P&W lost the B52 engine they initially wanted to offer an update TF33. Now playing the same games with the F35.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

“The AETP appears to be a non-starter and not before 2027 at the earliest for the A & C.

While “we think we have a very competitive offering for the F-35A and the F-35C, … we did not design the AETP engine to integrate with the F-35B.

It was beyond the scope of what we set out to do,” he said.

While Tweedie did not comment on how hard it would be to adapt AETP engines to this application, he did say it would be “beyond the budget and timeframe” set by the House to accomplish.”

https://www.airforcemag.com/ge-new-engine-for-f-35-possible-by-2027-not-stovl-version/

Last edited 22 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

More money required it would appear. Design a new engine or, run the current ones hotter? “Latka said the F-35B’s unique short take-off and vertical landing lift system can’t accommodate the AETP engines. To create competition with GE, she said, two variants of each company’s engine would be needed, with parallel repair and supply chains. That contributed to Pratt & Whitney’s $40 billion cost figure, she said.” “She continued: “We’ve taken 50 percent out of the unit cost” of the F135, she said. Improvements would reduce costs further, taking 36 percent out of the cost for the initial shop visit,… Read more »

Nuco
Nuco
23 days ago

Are there any other upgrades planned beyond this to keep them flying for decades?

DaveyB
DaveyB
22 days ago
Reply to  Nuco

You will expect to find the communications and defensive aids being upgraded. They already have an updated ground mapping radar plus FLIR, so these will probably be updated in due time. The biggest upgrade will be enhanced jammers, possibly based on the AN/ALQ-99 jammers.

Liam
Liam
23 days ago

Shame the Vulcan was not treated so wdll

Reaper
Reaper
23 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Or Victor….

Reaper
Reaper
23 days ago

Crazy how USA still thinks it needs heavy Bombers…is it cheaper than say cruise missiles?

exRR
exRR
23 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

B-52 helps the cruise missiles to get within range of the target!

Daveyb
Daveyb
23 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

You need these to get the cruise missiles to their launch windows. A lot of cruise missiles have had their ranges restricted by treaties, especially for the nuke versions. At least with a B52 you can launch them from the US and still get them near their target within 12 hours or so. Not many countries have that ability, not even using their ships as the launch platform. I called on a pair of B52s when in Afghanistan, dropping 1000lbs Jdams. It must have been really boring for their crews as they would stay on station for 8 hours and… Read more »

Peter lloyd
Peter lloyd
23 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Had a good piss-up on Diago Garcia when you lot were building the base. Being a British owned Island,it had a Royal Navy officer as Govenor.

William Griffiths
William Griffiths
23 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Nowadays rather than free fall bombs they are more used as missile barges, bringing a lot of missiles to within range of their target. They use the stealth bombers to carry the big freefall bombs.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago

Ummmmm most of what they have dropped in recent times, see DaveyB’s comment above, has been laser guided free fall.

Perfectly adequate and cheaper and easier to replenish inventory.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
23 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Plus a cruise missile isn’t going to loiter and provide top cover!

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Yeah, interesting to learn,thanks guys.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
22 days ago

strictly speaking, it is a $501 million contract that they have actually been awarded with the potential to grow to be $2.6 billion.

expat
expat
22 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Yep but the US air force earmarked $10b for the program, I think the f130 engine is circa $3m but they need around 600 so thats around $1.8b but there will be engineering (hardware and software) and some bespoke parts to fit it to the B52. Just like were order in tranches for ships or Typhoons the USAF will be doing the same.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
22 days ago

As usual no coverage of this important story on BBC (business news) or other mainstream media. You would think that this is a bit of good news to cheer peeps up.

Well done George UKDJ for covering it.

At least me RR. shares have finally gone up today.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago

Maybe GB News would show it. They ran a piece on T31 other day, months later than us experts on here!

BBC is just Woke brainwashing, would not fit their agenda.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
22 days ago

Exactly.

Think Sky business has done it now though.

Mike
Mike
22 days ago

GB News is a discredited media vehicle of the extreme right.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Mike

According to the Guardian. I’ve seen nothing far right on it myself, though it’s not often I’ve looked at it.

What material has been shown on there that’s far right?

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago

Exactly.. just because it isn’t the woke bbc or itv spouting lefty crap don’t make it far right.

Nigel farage is on GB news now and ReMeMbEr he’s “a far right racist” not.
I do remember when MSM kept insisting Nigel was racist and far right just because he was pro UK and Brexit.. he was neither. 🇬🇧

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Mud sticks if thrown enough. Having met with and spoken with Nigel at length on 3 occasions I saw no sign of racism. I’ve seen black and Muslim UKIP members at UKIP events supporting Nigel. One of them straight out of the Taliban look. Oh the MSM would choke seeing that. Even Cameron called UKIP voters “Fruitcakes, Loonies, and Closet Racists” That would be me then, as I was a member from 2014 to 2019. And I am happily none of those things. As for Cameron’s comments, they turned out well when UKIP then went on and won the European… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago
Reply to  Mike

It’s not extreme right lol..

Airborne
Airborne
21 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Bore off with your sad propaganda. Grown up subjects demand grown ups to discuss said issues, not TH trolls who have to change avatars and IP addresses continuously. ❤️

Chris
Chris
22 days ago

The BBC won’t report anything that paints the UK and UK industry in a positive light. They’re all about stirring ‘class/culture warfare’ these days.

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago
Reply to  Chris

The BBC are a joke, we need to defund them… all their lies and bullcrap. They aren’t fit for purpose now, and it’s amazing how we still need a liscence to watch the BBC.. What a joke,,,

Frank62
Frank62
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Agreed.

Sooty
Sooty
22 days ago

Wonder if all the upgrades will result in a new B-52J designation?

Mike
Mike
22 days ago

The USA and Russia seem to retain equipment for far longer periods than small countries.

Last edited 22 days ago by Mike
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Russia, in many cases, they would struggle to make it again. Critical bits of industry and people were lost when the USSR fell apart. If they get rid of it they will not have anything to replace it with.

USA, if you have something that fundamentally works: you keep it. You are out of the politics of procurement. Some things don’t have to be massively sophisticated to do a great job and can just be incrementally upgraded; other things wear out.

Reaper
Reaper
22 days ago

Lots of Russias ancient equipment wouldn’t stand a chance in the modern world, they might have the numbers on paper but what can fly or be of use is far less than what they say. And china with russian copy’s isn’t much better, but china has money and russia doesn’t,

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

I think that’s all set to change within the next few years as progress is being made on their locally produced WS15 engine with the possibility of up to 500 J20 fighthers to counter the pridicted number of F35’s operating in Asia.

They’re catching up!

China successfully tests WS 15 engine to provide supercruise speed for future stealth fighter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2BIeOBVky8

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Maybe – maybe not.

With the Chinese who knows what the real score is? Although I am sure they have talked things up.

That said I think a lot of their stuff is more real than Uncle Vlad’s power points and renders done by an 8 yr old.

Making supercruising jet engines is at another level and there is a lot more to it than the engine itself.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Fair comment.

Russian useful, up to date, armed forces are not that different in scale from the UK’s IMHO

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Don’t forget the Russian missiles, little green men, and cyber ops.
That is where their threat lies.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
21 days ago

Fairly incredible that this aircraft will outlive both the B1 and B2 bombers, that should have replaced it.
Sometimes simple is just more effective than complex.

Stephen John Newton
Stephen John Newton
21 days ago

Shame the could not be built in UK the home of Rolls Royce.

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
20 days ago

Whilst this sounds good news, I recall the furore over the plans for the KC-135 replacement, when Airbus was announced as preferred bidder with the A-330 but then dropped following objections from Boeing. So, I won’t open the champagne until the first Rolls Royce powered B-52 takes to the air.