A $500 million contract for Rolls-Royce North America to produce engines for the U.S. Air Force and its B-52 aircraft was more than four years in the making and executives believe the impact will be felt in Indiana for years to come. “It’s a major win for the state of Indiana, a major win for the city of Indianapolis and a major win for Rolls-Royce,” said John Kusnierek, senior vice president of Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks and a key player in landing the deal. The contract is expected to initially result in 100-150 new jobs, and if options are exercised, the contract could be worth $2.6 billion over 17 years.
Kusnierek talked about the impact of the deal on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
In addition to the economic impact, Kusnierek believes the B-52 contract will boost state efforts to become a center for defense and national security investment. “The advanced manufacturing of these advanced jet engines, I think, is a building block in the state of Indiana’s objective for more defense work,” said Kusnierek.
He also says the contract “punctuates and amplifies” the company’s decision to invest more than $600 million in a massive, six-year modernization of its Indianapolis manufacturing operations, which included several World War II-era buildings.
“It was a factor,” said Kusnierek, adding “that advanced manufacturing capacity allows us to build the engines very efficiently and adapt very quickly to the customer demand signal, which is important as you modify the B-52’s with these new engines.”