Hawk aircraft

The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract to a joint venture of construction firms North Stone and White Mountain to refurbish one of two runways at Royal Air Force (RAF) Valley.

The £20m contract involves refurbishing the runway, link taxiways, as well as providing a new section airside perimeter road, new visual aids, aeronautical lighting and signage.

RAF Valley, an operational station, is primarily a fast jet training base, with pilots mostly flying Hawk aircraft.

It is reported that the strength of the existing taxiways is sufficient for Hawk aircraft and the upgrade is being carried out to accommodate other aircraft such as Hercules, Tornados and Typhoons.

The new upgrade is expected to extend the life of the runway by a further 25 years.

Recently, the UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) announced a £1.1bn investment in fast jet training on sites across the country.

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"DIO invests in infrastructure to support the armed forces to live, work, train and deploy and the work at RAF Valley will be an important part of that"

DIO project manager Alan Baker said: "We’re pleased to have awarded the contract for the work at RAF Valley and are looking forward to getting underway.

"DIO invests in infrastructure to support the armed forces to live, work, train and deploy and the work at RAF Valley will be an important part of that, especially in the light of the investment in fast jet training announced by Defence Equipment and Support."

RAF Valley will remain as an operational station for the majority of the works, with a maximum period of four weeks when flying must cease to permit construction in some areas.

Works are expected to take just over a year, with construction commencing this March and expected to be completed in February next year.

Image: Hawk aircraft on the runway at RAF Valley. Photo: courtesy of MOD/ Crown Copyright 2002.