Rolls-Royce announces U.S. plant for 10K engine

 - December 28, 2007, 5:20 AM

Following the selection of its RB282 to power Dassault’s new super-midsize design at the Paris Air Show in June– beating competing designs from Snecma, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada and General Electric–Rolls-Royce has announced it will build a North American plant to build the newly launched 10,000-pound-thrust engine. The new facility, to be located on a 1,000-acre site in Prince George County, Va., will assemble and test the RB282, which the British powerplant manufacturer says will be the first in a series of engines designed for corporate and regional jets. The RB282’s development and testing will be handled by the company’s Bristol, UK facilities.

The Virginia facility will create as many as 500 new jobs and could also be used to manufacture components for the F136 engine in the Joint Strike Fighter. Plans call for the facility to include a single testbed providing capacity to test up to 500 engines annually.

Rolls-Royce said it will be investing $100 million in the plant, and economic incentives from state and county governments include land contribution and construction assistance. Groundbreaking is planned for later this year, and the facility is expected to be operational by the end of next year. Engine production will coincide with that of the first Dassault SMS airframe, which is expected to enter service sometime after 2012. Dassault is developing the Falcon super-midsize jet as a replacement for the out-of-production Falcon 50EX.