UK MoD to upgrade and build new facilities at RAF Marham
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has unveiled plans to upgrade and build new facilities worth £167m at Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham to house the F-35B Lightning II squadrons.
The modernisation programme will include the addition of maintenance, training and logistics facilities to the station in East Anglia.
The latest decision will see the MoD upgrading RAF Marham through three contracts.
The programme will start off with a contract totalling £25m for the demolition and cabling works at the Norfolk site.
The UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Lockheed Martin will together work for the construction of three new buildings that feature space to house the aircrafts along with training facilities for pilots and ground crew, under a £142m contract.
UK DE&S Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas said: "These facilities are critical to the F-35B Lightning II programme, which is in turn vital to the future capability of the UK's Armed Forces.
"The cutting edge technology of these aircraft, supported by world-class facilities at RAF Marham, will ensure we have a battle-winning fleet of jets deployable anywhere in the world.
Additionally, BAE Systems will manage the construction project.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "The F-35 is the most advanced combat aircraft in the world. Whether operating from land or our two new aircraft carriers, they will ensure we have a formidable fighting force.
"They are part of our plan for stronger and better defence, backed by a budget that will this week rise for the first time in six years, and keep rising until the end of the decade."
The new facility, which will have nearly 250 military and civilian staff, is expected to become operational in 2018.
The decision coincides with the completion of the 10th aft section being built for the UK's F-35 fleet.
Image: An aircraft hanger. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.