Rolls-Royce scores $19.2M helicopter contract

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Rolls-Royce Corp. has been awarded a $19.2 million contract to build 40 engines for the Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced the contract this week. The work, which will be performed in Indianapolis, is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2012. The government solicited and received one bid for the work.

Rolls-Royce has been building Kiowa engines since it acquired Allison Engine Co. in the mid-1990s. The helicopter performs scout and light-attack missions in support of ground troops.

Rolls-Royce’s Indianapolis manufacturing facility employs about 4,300, making the British aerospace firm the city’s second-largest manufacturer behind Eli Lilly and Co.

Military contracts have been keeping the local operation busy. In the past year, Rolls-Royce has snagged more than $250 million in government work. Besides the most recent deal, it has been awarded:

— $7.5 million in June to design, develop and test an upgrade for a digital engine control the company is making for the Kiowa Warrior, plus the original "multimillion-dollar" contract in February  to design and develop digital engine controls for the Warrior. Terms of that contract were not disclosed.

— $51 million in April to provide engines for the United States Marine Corps’ KC-130J tanker aircraft. Under the terms of the four-year agreement, Rolls-Royce also will provide parts, engine-management and trouble-shooting services, and logistics support.

— $160.6 million in December 2009 to make 78 turboshaft engines for the U.S. Navy and Air Force helicopters.

— $11.1 million in November 2009 to make 20 to 135 of the Warrior engines.

— $8.5 million in November 2009 to provide spare engine parts for the Air Force’s C-130J military-transport aircraft.



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