Rolls-Royce is set to open a new engine depot services plant at Tinker Air Force Base in 2015.
The company was recently awarded a $49 million contract to convert an existing building to support the U.S. Air Force's Global Hawk fleet.
The facility will be the first for Rolls-Royce at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. The operation marks the company's first public-private Partnership to provide engine services for the U.S. Air Force.
Paul Craig, Rolls-Royce president of defense services, said the plant will launch the operation to service Rolls-Royce AE3007H engines that the company manufactures at its plant in Indianapolis. The contract includes new support equipment, tooling, work stations, assembly platforms and modification of an existing test cell. Rolls-Royce will train employees to perform engine services and certify the new facility after it is complete.
“In creating this facility, we will apply our innovative approach to services, delivering the latest advances in support, tooling and design right to the heart of the customer's operation,” Craig said. “This is another example of our customer-focused and innovative services for military operators. We tailor a variety of services to meet the needs of our customers — how they need them and where they need them.”
Small staff in city
Rolls-Royce currently has a small technical staff in the city working with the base on other engine projects. Company spokesman George McLaren said he could not estimate how many people would be employed during the contract, or whether the company may end up operating the plant once it is completed.
Kevin O'Connor, vice director of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, said the contract with Rolls-Royce demonstrates Tinker's competitiveness in military maintenance repair and overhaul.
“We have a very professional workforce and a demonstrated success of maintaining a variety of engines — we look forward to bringing our competencies to this partnership,” O'Connor said. “We believe this will be the beginning of a great relationship with Rolls-Royce and we look forward to even more partnership opportunities in the future.”
The public may know Rolls-Royce best as the one-time manufacturer of luxury automobiles. That brand continues, but is controlled by a separate company, as the modern Rolls-Royce has evolved into a leading global provider of power systems and services for use on land, air and sea. The company's customers include 300 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries. Rolls-Royce employs more than 45,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in more than 50 countries. More than 14,000 of its employees are engineers.
In creating this facility, we will apply our innovative approach to services, delivering the latest advances in support, tooling and design right to the heart of the customer's operation.”
Rolls-Royce president of defense services