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Rolls-Royce signs $131 million F-35 Stovl Liftsystem contract

Dec. 15, 2008 - Rolls-Royce has signed a $131 million contract with Pratt & Whitney to supply LiftSystems for the first six Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II aircraft.


December 15, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

Dec. 15, 2008 – Rolls-Royce
has signed a $131 million contract with Pratt & Whitney to supply
LiftSystems for the first six Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing
(STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II aircraft. This order is significant
and represents the first production contract for Rolls-Royce as part of
its involvement in the world’s biggest-ever defence procurement
programme.

The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® comprises a LiftFan, Roll Posts and 3
Bearing Swivel Module. Rolls-Royce will provide these through the
propulsion system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney, with parts
deliveries beginning as early as next month. The scope of the contract
also includes spare hardware, production investment and sustainment
planning.

Axel Arendt, President of Defence at Rolls-Royce, said:
“STOVL technology is a huge asset for Rolls-Royce and the company has
played a pioneering role in its development since the launch of the
Pegasus engine for the Harrier in the late 1950s. With the F-35 project
we are utilising the latest technologies to power the next generation
of STOVL aircraft”.

Simon Henley, Programme Director for New Product Introduction at
Rolls-Royce, said: ““The LiftSystem programme is rapidly gaining
momentum on both sides of the Atlantic and this significant step
forward puts us firmly into the production phase for this game-changing
aircraft.”

Orders for the LiftSystem are expected to total over 600, with
leading customers including the US Marine Corps, The UK Armed Forces
and the Italian Navy. The F-35B variant is expected to remain in
service well after 2050.

Rolls-Royce engineers in Bristol, UK and Indianapolis, US, are
involved in design and assembly of the LiftSystem, with component
manufacture also taking place at the Hucknall and Bristol sites in the
UK.

This production contract follows on from the $1.1bn contract signed
with Pratt & Whitney in 2001 to develop the F135 STOVL Propulsion
System.