£135M F35 infrastructure contract awarded
Preparations for the arrival of 12 new F35’s has hit a new milestone, with the awarding of the last of seven major contracts at RAF Marham.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced that a joint venture of Galliford Try and Lagan Construction Ltd was awarded the contract, which will see a new hangar developed at RAF Marham, as well as other infrastructure improvements.
The new hangar will house 12 of the new fast jet aircraft, due in 2018, that will deploy to the new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, giving the UK world class carrier strike capability.
Further works will see the improvement of existing facilities, such as resurfacing two existing runways and taxiways, while the Station remains operational. Vertical Landing Pads will accommodate the F-35B’s ability to land vertically, a capability previously covered by the Harrier jets.
Defence Secretary, Sir 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.
“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 F-35 Programme is the world’s largest single defence programme and the UK has played a major role from the outset.
Initial flight trials for F-35 jets from HMS Queen Elizabeth Class are on track to begin in 2018, building towards delivering a Carrier Strike capability for the UK from 2020.
Image: © Crown Copyright: The future of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force combat air fleets, the F-35B Lightning II, flew over their prospective ‘homes’; HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Prince of Wales in Rosyth and RAF Marham in Norfolk.
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