Rolls-Royce has completed two key milestone deliveries for the F-35 Lightning II program, as production matures for the LiftSystem™, the only technology in the world capable of providing vertical-lift for 5th-generation fighter aircraft.
Rolls-Royce recently delivered the 50th 3-Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM) and 40th LiftFan™ for F-35B aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and is on schedule for LiftSystem deliveries.
Additionally, field support from Rolls-Royce for the F-35B’s LiftSystem has expanded, with technical representatives now providing services at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Fort Worth, Texas; and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Rolls-Royce is also supporting the US Marine Corps in preparation for upcoming sea trials with the F-35B aircraft, as well as the process moving toward Initial Operational Capability in 2015.
Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce, President - Defence, said, "These key milestone deliveries demonstrate maturity in both production and in the world-class technology of the LiftSystem itself, as Rolls-Royce continues to focus on innovation and customer service. Our expanding field services team means that anywhere an F-35B is flying, Rolls-Royce is there to support the mission."
The unique 3BSM is a swivelling exhaust capable of redirecting the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical position, tilting downward 95 degrees in only 2.5 seconds. The LiftFan is a two-stage, counter-rotating, blisked fan installed just behind the cockpit of the F-35B, providing 20,000 lbs. of downward thrust. The 3BSM and LiftFan are connected to the powerful F135 engine from Pratt & Whitney.
Lockheed Martin has delivered 26 F-35Bs and the fleet has surpassed 3,000 flight hours, with approximately 750 short takeoffs and more than 400 vertical landings using the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem®.
In May 2013, an F-35B test aircraft completed the first vertical takeoff in programme history.
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