Rolls-Royce has opened a new facility in Bristol, dedicated specifically to manufacturing the unique LiftSystem engine for the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the LIGHTNING II, the F-35B, which is on order for the UK and the US Marine Corps.
Dubbed LiftWorks and supporting more than 100 local jobs, the facility was formally opened by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew on 18 September. The Bristol site is not only making the LiftSystem for UK jets, but for all F-35B jets on order across the world. Production at the site has been building up since 2009, with the official opening now marking the fact that the facility is heading towards peak manufacturing levels.
“Rolls-Royce has pioneered STOVL technology through our development of the PEGASUS engine for the HARRIER and has now taken that capability to new levels in the shape of the LiftSystem for the F-35B. This new facility enables us to continue produce cutting edge technology to our customer while also ensuring that we are reducing their costs,” commented Rolls-Royce Director of Customer Business Defence Alex Zino.