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F-35B Lift Fan Performed ‘Nearly Flawlessly’ In Operational Test At Sea, Rolls-Royce Says

Defense Daily // June 09, 2015

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has finished about 90 percent of the work necessary for the Marine Corps to declare the F-35B battle ready on July 1, according to Vice President of Customer Business Tom Hartmann.

The company provides the lift fan, directional bearing swivel module and roll posts for the short-takeoff, vertical landing variant of the F-35. It also builds the crank shaft that connects the lift fan to the main Pratt & Whitney [UTX] F135 engine that powers all three variants of the aircraft.

An F-35B takes off during operational test 1 (OT-1) in May aboard the USS Wasp.

Rolls-Royce so far has built a total 54 lift fans for the existing fleet of F-35Bs and has delivered enough to the Marine Corps in support of the service declaring initial operational capability (IOC) on July 1, Hartmann said. At IOC the Marine Corps will have at least 20 lift fan modules, including spares, for its initial operation fleet of 16 F-35Bs.

 “We’ve got a handful of lift fans left to deliver and everything else is in place,” Hartmann told reporters during a June 8 conference call. “It’s really just the spare modules to support IOC. They have everything they need in their operational jet to go.”

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