The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £135m contract to a joint venture (JV) of Galliford Try and Lagan Construction for the development of a new aircraft hangar at the Royal Air Force (RAF) base in Marham, Norfolk, UK.

The latest investment in RAF Marham is the last of seven projects, worth £250m, aimed to prepare the base for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft in the next year.

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The new aircraft hangar will have enough space to accommodate 12 of the new F-35 fighter jets.

Work under the contract also includes resurfacing two existing runways and taxiways, while the station remains operational.

Additionally, the MoD is adding vertical landing pads to RAF Marham for accommodating the F-35B’s ability to land vertically.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Flying from our new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, the F-35B aircraft will provide the UK with the ability to project our influence globally. This contract will ensure that RAF Marham has the facilities to match this world-class aircraft when it arrives next year.

"The F-35B aircraft will provide the UK with the ability to project our influence globally."

“Throughout the F-35 programme, British firms have won major contracts creating thousands of jobs. The contract to improve the runways and taxiways as well as installing new landing pads will bring local jobs to Marham.”

The RAF and Royal Navy will fly F-35B Lightning aircraft from Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers or from operating bases such as RAF Marham.

The aircraft will be operated initially by 617 Squadron, RAF, followed by 809 Naval Air Squadron.

Initial flight trials for F-35 jets from HMS Queen Elizabeth Class are scheduled to begin next year.

Image: The new aircraft hangar to be built at RAF Marham can accommodate 12 of the new F-35B fighter aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Crown.