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Rolls-Royce Bags Contract To Produce & Support LiftSystem For F-35 Lightning II

UK-based engine maker Rolls-Royce Group Plc (RR.L, RYCEY.PK) has won a contract worth $215 million to produce and support LiftSystems for the F-35 Lightning II program, and F-35B jets continue to demonstrate success in operations, training and test. Rolls-Royce LiftSystem's technology provides F-35B aircraft with the capability to perform short take-offs and vertical landings and is currently in service with the US Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona.

The firm's new agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the sixth production lot consists of six LiftSystems, plus sustainment, program management, engineering and field support.

Dave Gordon, Rolls-Royce, LiftSystem Program Director, stated, "The innovative Rolls-Royce LiftSystem continues to demonstrate its effectiveness in field operation and in the recent F-35B shipboard trials on the USS Wasp. As we expand our field support, we remain focused on efficiency and further increasing the affordability of LiftSystems for the F-35B Lightning II."

The company delivered 42 LiftSystems and expanded field support to include five locations where F-35B aircraft are flown. Those include Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where a USMC pilot recently conducted the first short take-off and vertical landing of an F-35B at the base.

Moreover, the F-35B fleet nears multiple major milestones. In more than 450 flights of Mode 4 operation, F-35B aircraft have completed over 1,000 short take-offs, 640 vertical landings, comprising over 150 aboard the USS Wasp, 550 slow landings and 250 hover test points. Further to supporting the recent Wasp ship trials, Rolls-Royce is working with the US Marine Corps to prepare for achieving Initial Operational Capability in 2015.

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