Aerospace engineering firm Rolls-Royce (RR.) gained 7% to 141.8p, its highest level since March 2020, as it struck a deal with the US Air Force that would see its engines power B-52 bombers for the next three decades.

Today’s rise builds on a strong recent run for the shares, which have benefited from the easing of travel restrictions and the implications for the company’s lucrative maintenance and spares and repairs business.

A big part of how Rolls makes its money is by keeping its large installed base of aircraft engines ticking over, which is directly affected by how much planes are in the air.

This latest announcement saw Rolls-Royce reveal it had been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the so-called Commercial Engine Replacement Program.

The work will be carried out at the firm’s facility in Indianapolis which recently had a $600 million facelift. While there were no commercial details of the deal, the firm described it as 'a major win'.

30-YEAR PROGRAMME

‘The decision means the American-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years,' the company said.

'The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.'

Rolls-Royce said the F130 and its commercial family of engines had accumulated more than 27 million engine flight hours.

'The F130 is the perfect fit for the B-52 with proven reliability, superb life cycle cost, and low integration risk,' it added.

'A variant of the Rolls-Royce engine selected to power the iconic B-52 is already in service with the USAF around the world, powering both the C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft.'

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Issue Date: 27 Sep 2021