Production of a new military aircraft engine is picking up steam, and so is Rolls-Royce Corp.'s share of the work.
The company said Tuesday it has a $315 million contract from Pratt & Whitney for its LiftSystem, which enables short takeoffs and vertical landings by the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney is the engine supplier for the aircraft, which is produced by Lockheed Martin. Rolls-Royce makes the LiftSystem at a dedicated factory space in Plainfield.
The initial production contract calls for Rolls-Royce to this year produce 17 LiftSystems, which include the LiftFan and other components, the company said. A further order is expected later in the year.
Rolls-Royce has delivered 32 LiftSystems, plus spare parts, since the F-35B program began.
"Rolls-Royce continues to focus on increasing efficiency as we provide this vital capability to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program,” said Neil Mehta, LiftSystem program director. “We anticipate continuous cost improvements as production volumes ramp up to meet the needs of the F-35 program.”