The Ministry of Defence has announced contracts worth £167m to upgrade and build new facilities at RAF Marham, the future home of the UK’s F-35B Lightning II squadrons.
The contracts, which will create 300 new jobs, will allow for the addition of maintenance, training and logistics facilities to the station in East Anglia, all of which will be dedicated to the next-generation fighter aircraft.
The announcement was made in the same week as the UK met a new milestones on the F-35 programme with the completion of the 10th aft – or rear – section being built for the UK’s fleet.
The works at RAF Marham have been made possible through three contracts, placed initially by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and totalling £25m, for demolition and cabling works at the Norfolk site, readying RAF Marham for new construction works.
A £142m contract between Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Lockheed Martin UK will then allow the construction of three new buildings which together will keep the new aircraft ready for service, provide training facilities for pilots and ground crew, and enable centralised management of the UK’s whole F-35B fleet.
Approximately 300 people will be employed on the construction works, which will be managed by sub-contractors BAE Systems. The buildings will become a place of work for around 250 military and civilian staff when they open in 2018.