Over the last 20 years, the Pratt & Whitney unit of Raytheon Technologies has won contracts to provide engines for the Air Force’s newest fighter, tanker and bomber. You could say it has won the Triple Crown of Air Force propulsion competitions. Only one competition remains to cement its dominance for decades to come: the program that will reengine the iconic B-52 bomber. Each of the planes is 60 years old and has eight engines, which means reengining entails “significant risks,” to quote Air Force officials. Pratt & Whitney looks fairly well positioned to prevail because it is the incumbent engine provider, it is the only company that has ever reengined the venerable bomber, and the P800 engine it is offering looks like the closest match for what the service needs in terms of performance and dimensions. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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