Leaders Tout Indy For Rolls-Royce Program

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Tom Bell is CEO of Rolls-Royce North America Tom Bell is CEO of Rolls-Royce North America

The chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce North America says the F130 engine produced in Indianapolis is everything the U.S. Air Force needs for its B-52 re-engining program. The manufacturer announced Monday it is putting its name in the hat for a contract to build 650 engines for the B-52 bomber fleet. At a news conference, Tom Bell said the company's F130 engine will serve the fleet long into the coming decades. 

"Digitally engineered right here in Indianapolis featuring American parts, an American supply chain and an American assembly and test facility, this program is huge," said Bell. "It'll be over 650 F130s that we build here. Now all we got to do is go win it."

The F130s are already being used to power other aircraft in the Air Force fleet. Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said the state is behind Rolls-Royce in its effort to secure the contract, which will create 150 jobs if Rolls-Royce is selected.

The work would be performed at the company's Indianapolis manufacturing facility, which was the recipient of $600 million in upgrades announced in 2015, which Rolls-Royce says are nearing completion. 

"It has the potential to bring new products, new investment and most importantly, new jobs to our capital city," said Bedel. "This facility is built to support not only the work being done today at Rolls-Royce, but to create the opportunity for future, long-term growth right here in Indiana and that opportunity is that B-51 re-engine program."

Rolls-Royce says the new jobs that would be created include manufacturing, engineering and program management positions, among others.

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