Rolls-Royce has established a new facility to repair F-35 Lightning II aircraft’s propulsion components in Plainfield, Indianapolis, US.
The $10m facility will repair and overhaul components for the Roll-Royce LiftSystem that provides vertical-lift capability for the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing aircraft, which will be operated by the US and UK militaries.
The LiftWorks facility is adjacent to the company’s LiftSystem Factory in Plainfield, which assembles new components for the fifth-generation F-35 aircraft, and is expected to employ approximately 40 people as workload increases.
Rolls-Royce Defense president Tom Bell said: "We continue to focus on technology, while increasing efficiency and reducing costs for the F-35 programme.
"The synergy from having our LiftSystem production, repair and test facilities in close proximity will help achieve significant savings, as we apply our decades of experience and knowledge in aftermarket support for our customers.
"We have the capacity to grow our operations at this facility as the F-35 programme ramps up in future years."
In recent years, the company has been working to bring down F-35 programme costs through 150 affordability initiatives, which involved investment of more than $85m.
In addition, the company is assisting the US Marine Corps as the service prepares to declare initial operational capability (IOC) for its F-35B aircraft later this year.
The LiftSystem consists of a LiftFan, three-Bearing Swivel Module, a roll post under each wing, and a shaft connected to the aircraft’s F135 turbofan engine. It enables the fighter to get airborne within a 244m take-off roll, and to land vertically, as reported by Flightglobal.
Rolls-Royce recently handed over the 50th LiftFan, which addresses all IOC requirements for the US Marine Corps.
Image: The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem attached to an F135 turbofan engine at 2007 Paris Air Show in France. Photo: courtesy of Duch.seb.