Rolls-Royce snares military helicopter contract

February 22, 2010

Rolls-Royce Corp.’s Indianapolis operations have been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract by the U.S. Army to design and develop a digital engine control for the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter.

Specific terms of the deal, which was announced Sunday, were not disclosed.

The dual-channel full-authority digital engine control, or FADEC, will draw on the latest Rolls-Royce technology, and will increase functionality, decrease pilot workload and lower cost of operation, the company said in a prepared statement.

The Kiowa Warrior is powered by Rolls-Royce’s M250 engine. The helicopter performs scout and light-attack missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.

The local operation has accumulated several meaty military contracts in recent months.

In December, it received a $160.6 million military contract to manufacture 78 turboshaft engines for the U.S. Navy and Air Force helicopters. And in November, it received an $11.1 million contract to make gas turbine engines for the Army’s OH-58D Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters and an $8.5 million contract to provide spare engine parts for the Air Force’s C-130J military-transport aircraft.



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