Lockheed Martin has secured an £80m contract to deliver the initial training, engineering, maintenance and logistics support for the UK's F-35 Lightning II fleet.
The three-year contract was awarded by the US Department of Defense F-35 Joint Program Office, and Lockheed has sub-contracted a portion of the work worth an estimated £40m to BAE Systems.
BAE Systems will take the lead sustainment role for F-35 Lightning II in the UK, while Lockheed Martin will continue to be the prime contractor for global operations.
BAE noted that the companies will form a collaborative team of more than 100 skilled technicians at Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Nothing demonstrates the strength of our relationship better than our joint work on the most advanced combat aircraft in the world, the F-35 Lightning II, and the UK is proud to be the future hub for all the European jets.
“The additional investment at RAF Marham will ensure that we have a formidable fighting force that, at a time of growing danger, in the most momentous of weeks, will help us work with our US partners to promote international peace and security.”
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Work has commenced to prepare RAF Marham for the arrival of 617 Squadron, which will fly the UK’s initial operational F-35 Lightning II jets from 2018 onwards.
A £142m package was awarded to Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to deliver an operations centre, integrated training centre and maintenance and finish building in April 2016.
Image: A view of the future F-35 Lightning II maintenance and finish facility at RAF Marham. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.