INDIANAPOLIS—Rolls-Royce Corp. announced Monday that it is kicking off a year-long campaign in pursuit of a contract to build hundreds of engines for U.S. Air Force bombers worth an estimated $1 billion that would bring 150 high-tech jobs here. The aerospace firm said that a successful bid would involve the construction of 650 F130 engines for the Air Force's fleet of B-52s, a project that would require a new assembly line at its Tibbs Avenue plant.

The contract is one of the biggest Rolls-Royce Indianapolis has ever pursued. A successful bid would yield jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and program management at Rolls-Royce. Pratt & Whitney and GE Aviation are also expected to bid on the contract, according to published reports.
The Air Force has yet to issue a request for proposals, said Rolls-Royce, which expects the Air Force to announce a winning bid in 2020.

The F130 engine produces 17,000 pounds of thrust and already powers other aircraft in the Air Force's fleet, such as the E-11A and C-37 aircraft. Rolls-Royce says the engine is a variant of its BR725 commercial engine.