Rolls-Royce has been awarded a $195.5 million contract to produce and support LiftSystems™ for the F-35 Lightning II program, the unique technology that provides vertical-lift for 5th-generation combat aircraft.
The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® enables F-35B aircraft to perform short takeoffs and vertical landings (STOVL) and is currently in service with the US Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona.
The final agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the fifth production lot includes three complete LiftSystems, spares, sustainment, program management, engineering and field support.
Rolls-Royce has delivered 35 LiftSystems and has expanded field support to include five bases which are flying F-35B aircraft.
Dave Gordon, Rolls-Royce, LiftSystem Program Director, said, "Rolls-Royce remains focused on further increasing the affordability of LiftSystems for the F-35B Lightning II as the program continues to grow and mature. Our field support has expanded and our state-of-the-art production facilities have brought new efficiencies to the program."
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.
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 LiftSystem also includes two roll posts on the wings to provide stabilizing downward thrust.
Rolls-Royce is supporting the US Marine Corps in preparation for upcoming sea trials with F-35B aircraft, as well as the process moving toward Initial Operational Capability in 2015.