B-52 Re-Engining Program Begins (excerpt)
(Source: Congressional Research Service; updated Sept. 22, 2021)
On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Air Force released a request for proposals to replace the TF33 engines powering the B-52H Stratofortress bomber fleet with 608 new engines, in a contract running up to 17 years. The request does not give a dollar value for the contract, but the Air Force had previously estimated the cost at $1.4 billion from FY2019 to FY2023.

On September 21, 2021, service acquisition officials announced that the contract would be awarded before October 2021.

The Air Force currently operates 76 B-52Hs, the most recent of which was built in the 1960s. The Air Force now expects to operate them until 2050. The last TF33 engine was built in 1985. (For more on the B-52 fleet, see CRS Report R43049, U.S. Air Force Bomber Sustainment and Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress.)

The re-engining effort (officially the Commercial Engine Replacement Program, or CERP) had been anticipated for some time, as the Air Force had announced its plans to extend the B-52s’ service into at least the 2040s, and had held an industry day on December 12, 2017, to share information and solicit vendors for the program. Boeing, the B-52 prime contractor, even produced an animated video touting the benefits of re-engining. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full report (4 Pdf pages), on the CRS website.


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