20 Sep 2018

Defence Minister visit marks opening of Rolls Royce’s F-35 Liftworks facility

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has opened a new state-of-the-art facility that manufactures unique vertical lift technology for the F-35 fighter jets.

The ‘LiftWorks’ facility, which has opened at Rolls-Royce in Bristol, makes the ‘LiftSystem’ to provide F-35 fighter jets with a fan propulsion system that allows them to take off over short distances, hover, swivel mid-air and land vertically.

The technology is vital to the jets being able to operate from aircraft carriers, and comes ahead of the stealth jets completing their historic first trials off the flight deck of Britain’s largest ever warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The site will support more than 100 jobs in the area after more than £20 million was injected into transforming the former Defence Manufacturing building into an advanced facility dedicated to developing the unique technology.

The Bristol site is not only making the LiftFan for UK jets, but for all F-35B jets on order across the world. Production at the site has been building up since 2009, with the official opening now marking the fact that the facility is heading towards peak manufacturing levels.

During the visit, the Minister unveiled a plaque marking the official opening of the Filton site before embarking on a tour of the facility where he met employees, apprentices and graduates.

Mr Andrew said: “As we build up to the iconic first F-35 take-offs from our brand-new aircraft carrier, it is timely to open this Bristol site which is making it all possible. The incredibly powerful systems made at this high-tech facility mean our jets will be able to operate from British sovereign territory anywhere across the world’s seas to fight any adversaries which threaten us.

“The F-35 programme is the biggest in the history of defence, and is supporting a hundred jobs here at LiftWorks – as well as thousands more right across the country.”

image © Crown Copyright

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