Rolls-Royce has opened a new manufacturing cell at its Bristol facility to produce a key element of the lift system for the F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft.

The company will manufacture the unique three-bearing swivel module (3BSM) at the £11m ($13m) production facility.

The 3BSM is a swivelling jet pipe to redirect the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical position on the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant F-35B joint strike fighter.

It will rotate through 95° in 2.5 seconds and pass 18,000lb of thrust generated from the main engine.

The lift system, which includes a lift fan, variable area vanebox nozzle, 3BSM and roll posts will enable STOVL operations for the F-35B.

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