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.”