The resurfacing of the secondary runway at the Royal Air Force (RAF) air station RAF Marham has been completed in preparation for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

To be operated both by the RAF and the UK Royal Navy, the F-35 multi-role combat jet is expected to arrive at its base RAF Marham soon.

Currently, preparations are ongoing to enable the aircraft to be deployed from the RAF air station to operating bases by the end of this year.

The resurfacing work on the 1,855m-long runway was carried out by the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) through its contractors. DIO is a joint venture (JV) between Galliford Try and Lagan Construction.

“The resurfacing project involved the development of two batching plants to help prepare the specific asphalt and concrete required for the new runway surface.”

The project is part of a £250m programme of investment to be undertaken by DIO in order to upgrade RAF Marham, which includes resurfacing of nearly 90% of the airfield operating surfaces.

DIO principal project manager Rob Dawson said: “The completion of the resurfacing of the secondary runway is one a series of milestones for the work DIO and our contractors are undertaking to prepare RAF Marham to be the main operating base for the new F-35B aircraft.

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“Along with work being completed by our colleagues at Defence Equipment and Support, this investment will transform RAF Marham with a host of new and upgraded facilities for the aircraft and the men and women who will operate them.”

The resurfacing project involved the development of two batching plants to help prepare the specific asphalt and concrete required for the new runway surface.

Remaining work includes the construction of three vertical landing pads and a squadron headquarters for the RAF 617 Squadron. This is currently ongoing at RAF Marham.

Landing pads have been designed to allow the F-35 Lightning II jets to use their vertical landing capability.

Other work includes a high voltage power upgrade, redevelopment of 12 Hardened Aircraft Shelters, a small gym and canteen, as well as a hangar, offices and technical facilities for the 207 Squadron.