INDIANAPOLIS - Rolls-Royce has announced plans to expand engine production in Indianapolis to build new engines for the U.S. Air Force, if it secures a key contract. The manufacturer, which already has a major presence in central Indiana, says if it is chosen for the B-52 re-engining program, it will use its Indy facility to produce 650 engines for the Air Force's B-52 strategic bomber fleet. The plant would create more than 150 jobs.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Rolls-Royce Vice President of Military Strategic Systems John Kusnierek discussed the company's optimism about the project. 

Rolls-Royce says the program would provide a boost to an existing U.S. supply chain, and the majority of the parts of the F130 engine would be produced in the United States. The F130 engine series is already being used to power other aircraft in the Air Force fleet.

"Our ultra-modern, advanced manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis are the perfect location to produce, assemble, and test the Rolls-Royce F130 engine for the U.S. Air Force B-52 program," said Tom Bell, president of defense for Rolls-Royce. "Rolls-Royce North America continues to invest heavily in advanced manufacturing and technology at our Indianapolis site, making it one of the most efficient and modern facilities anywhere in the aerospace world Just as Indianapolis is the perfect choice for this new assembly line, the Rolls-Royce F130 engine is the perfect fit for the B-52 aircraft – an American-made engine which is powerful, affordable, efficient and proven."

Indianapolis is already the largest engineering, design and manufacturing site in the U.S. for Rolls-Royce. The company manufactures engines for every branch of the military and employs 6,000 people throughout the country.

"Rolls-Royce and its predecessors have been operating in Indiana for more than 100 years, propelling innovation and advanced manufacturing forward and supporting thousands of quality careers for Hoosiers," Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said in a news release. "The company’s significant and ongoing investment in its Indianapolis site makes today’s decision possible. And we are confident that, if selected, Indiana’s skilled and dedicated workforce will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the B-52 re-engining program, helping our U.S. armed forces take flight for generations to come."

Rolls-Royce is nearing completion of the $600 million investment to modernize its Indianapolis campus, which was announced in 2015. The company says that effort paved the way for optimized production of an engine like the F130.

You can read more about the F130 engine by clicking here