18 Jul 2019

Construction begins on F35 infrastructure

Construction work has begun on F35 infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath that will provide hangars and training space for the aircraft.

The start of construction was marked with a ceremony attended by senior representatives from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), USAF’s 48th Fighter Wing and contractors Kier and VolkerFitzpatrick. The site will include a flight simulator facility, storage facilities, hangars, and maintenance units.

DIO awarded the £160million contract for the construction to a Kier VolkerFitzpatrick joint venture in November of last year. The aircraft will be welcomed to the base in Suffolk in 2021.

DIO USVF Programme Director, Keith Maddison, said: “DIO is proud to be working with the US Air Force and Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver this exciting project.”

“The infrastructure being delivered will benefit the local economy by providing a range of training and employment opportunities as well as demonstrating our long and proud history of supporting US Air Force capability in the UK.”

The contract award is the first in a wider programme of work to support USAir Force operations in the UK, with more than US $1billion expected to be invested in the UK over the next 7 to 10 years. At the height of construction, it is expected that there will be up to 700 people on site supporting the programme.

It is hoped the investment will also provide wider benefits both to the project and to the local economy. Construction materials from the demolished buildings have been reused on site for subbase for carparks, roads, and other hard standing areas.

There will also be a concrete plant on site reducing carbon miles and traffic in the community. DIO is also working closely with Forest Heath District Council and Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to ensure that the opportunities to create employment and training are maximised and that they last beyond the end of construction

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