FARNBOROUGH, England — Rolls-Royce has picked up a $216 million contract with Pratt & Whitney for the lift system used to enable the F-35B's short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.
The deal, announced at Farnborough International Airshow, includes 13 lift systems, labor, spares and tooling. Those systems will be integrated in F-35 aircraft produced in the ninth low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot.
A second contract for LRIP 10 could be announced as early as this summer, the company said in a news release.
Pilots can enable the system — which can generate more than 40,000 pounds of downward thrust — with the flick of a button, according to Rolls-Royce.
The lift system comprises a powerful 50-inch, two-stage counter rotating fan, a 3-bearing swivel module, rolls posts, the shaft, and a vane box, the company said. The fan produces the forward vertical lift and a thrust of more than 20,000 pounds, while the swivel module allows the aircraft to direct the thrust downward. Roll posts in the wings provide another 1,950-pound force each.
Rolls-Royce also manufactured the lift system used in legacy Harrier aircraft as well as the V-22 Osprey's engine.
"This new contract reflects continued confidence in the technology and capability of the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem," said Chris Cholerton, president of Rolls-Royce's defense division. "At the same time, we continue to focus on improving affordability for the customer, driving improvements into our production system.