Rolls-Royce plc yesterday revealed three new contracts worth a total of $442m (£290m) to provide lift fan propulsion systems for F-35B Lightning II aircraft.
The company will produce and support its LiftSystem technology for the planes, in a series of deals agreed between Rolls-Royce and US aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, which provides the propulsion for the F-35 programme.
According to Rolls-Royce, F-35 pilots say the LiftSystem has proven to be “extremely stable and dependable in flight, with superior aircraft software controls making it easy to operate”. The company stated that it “continues to demonstrate success in cost reduction efforts for the F-35 Lightning II programme”, and John Gallo, president defence programmes at Rolls-Royce, said, the company “remains committed” to reducing LiftSystem costs to meet affordability requirements for the program.
He added: “Through more than 150 affordability initiatives, we are focused on innovation and delivering cost reduction to the program and the operators.”
United Technologies-owned Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce have previously looked at creating a joint venture, however regulatory pressure put an end to their plans in 2013. The two companies had planned to work on Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan technology, to develop the next generation of engines for the mid-sized “narrowbody” market.
Rolls-Royce has announced several large deals over the past few months, including a €100m (£75m) contract to deliver 232 MTU Series 4000 engines to a subsidiary of Chinese locomotive manufacturer CNR Dalian in South Africa, signed in January, and a $440m maintenance and servicing contract with airline Norwegian.
Shares in the firm were down by 1.1 per cent yesterday.