Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis has announced a $215 million military contract to produce LiftSystems. The technology allows F-35 and F-35B aircraft to perform short take-offs and vertical landings. The systems are used by the U.S. Marine Corps. November 25, 2013
Rolls-Royce has been awarded a $215 million contract to produce and support LiftSystems for the F-35 Lightning II program, and F-35B jets continue to demonstrate success in operations, training and test.
The unique technology of the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® provides F-35B aircraft with the capability to perform short take-offs and vertical landings (STOVL) and is currently in service with the US Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona.
The new agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the sixth production lot includes six LiftSystems, plus sustainment, program management, engineering and field support.
Dave Gordon, Rolls-Royce, LiftSystem Program Director, said, “The innovative Rolls-Royce LiftSystem continues to demonstrate its effectiveness in field operation and in the recent F-35B shipboard trials on the USS Wasp. As we expand our field support, we remain focused on efficiency and further increasing the affordability of LiftSystems for the F-35B Lightning II.”
Rolls-Royce has delivered 42 LiftSystems and has expanded field support to include five locations where F-35B aircraft are flown. Those include Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where a USMC pilot recently conducted the first short take-off and vertical landing of an F-35B at the base.
Additionally, the F-35B fleet continues to demonstrate success as it nears multiple major milestones. In over 450 flights of Mode 4 operation (“powered lift” mode) F-35B aircraft have completed over 1,000 short take-offs, 640 vertical landings (including over 150 aboard the USS Wasp), 550 slow landings and 250 hover test points.
In addition to supporting the recent Wasp ship trials, Rolls-Royce is working with the US Marine Corps to prepare for achieving Initial Operational Capability in 2015.