Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has opened a new manufacturing cell at its Bristol facility which will produce a key element of the LiftSystem for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The new cell was officially opened by General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue, Chief of Defence Materiel for the UK Ministry of Defence.
The new £11 million production facility will manufacture the unique 3 Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM), a swivelling jet pipe capable of redirecting the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical position on the STOVL variant F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. It can rotate through 95 degrees in 2.5 seconds and passes 18,000 lbs. of thrust generated from the main engine.
The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® enables short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations for the F-35B and comprises a LiftFan™, Variable Area Vanebox Nozzle, 3BSM and Roll Posts.
Simon Henley, Rolls-Royce Director for New Product Introduction - Defence, said: “The 3BSM is critical technology for the delivery of STOVL capability to the F-35B. It is one of the most complex components that we manufacture at Rolls-Royce and requires a high precision finished casing capable of handling very high temperatures and pressures.”
General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue, Chief of Defence Materiel for the UK Ministry of Defence (pictured centre) officially opens the new manufacturing cell at the Rolls-Royce Bristol facility.