Search

F-35 Stealth fighter programme for RAF Marham to bring jobs boom to region

PUBLISHED: 17:42 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 20:12 21 June 2017

The F-35 Lightning making a first flypast over its future home at RAF Marham. Picture: Ian Burt

The F-35 Lightning making a first flypast over its future home at RAF Marham. Picture: Ian Burt

Up to 500 jobs will be created as part of a £135m contract to provide facilities for RAF Marham’s new state-of-the art fighter jets.

The contract, announced today by defence secretary Michael Fallon, is part of the UK’s F-35 Lightning programme.

It will see the construction of a new hanger capable of housing 12 F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters, as well as the resurfacing of two existing runways and taxiways.

Vertical landing pads will also be added to accommodate the jet’s ability to land vertically.

During the construction period, the base, which is located near Downham Market in West Norfolk, will remain operational.

The major investment is the last of seven projects worth £250m undertaken to prepare the station for the aircraft’s arrival next year.

London-based construction company Galliford Try, along with Lagan Construction Ltd, from Belfast, have been awarded the contract to deliver the facilities.

Both companies will employ 400-500 people at the base and across East Anglia.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the F-35 programme was the world’s largest single defence programme.

The 5th generation multi-role fighter jet, made by Lockheed Martin, is capable of short take-off and vertical-landing.

They will initially be flown by the RAF’s 617 Squadron - followed by the 809 Naval Air Squadron - from Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers or bases such as RAF Marham.

The MoD said the jets will “transform” the UK’s ability to project its influence overseas.

Initial flight trials for F-35 jets from the UK’s aircraft carriers will begin in 2018, building towards delivering a carrier strike capability for the UK from 2020.

Defence Secretary, Mr 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 a further 400-500 local jobs to Marham.”

Other news

Thu, 16:57

Youth club members in Swaffham have held a tea party and debate to celebrate 90 years of British men and women having equal rights to vote.

Wed, 10:09

If you are unsure about the amount of medication you’re taking, tell someone – that’s the message local people and carers are being urged to adopt during Learning Disability Week this week as part of a national campaign to stop the over medication of people with a learning disability.

Wed, 06:30

A church says it has lost hundreds of pounds to an estate agent who has gone to ground owing landlords thousands.

Tue, 16:02

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) is poised to decide whether to press forward with a possible takeover of the management of the county’s fire and rescue service.

Most Read

Monday, July 20, 2015

Visitors to Swaffham enjoyed a weekend of medieval celebrations as the town celebrated the 800th anniversary of the first recorded reference to its market charter.

Read more
Swaffham
Thu, 16:57

Youth club members in Swaffham have held a tea party and debate to celebrate 90 years of British men and women having equal rights to vote.

Read more
Tue, 16:02

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) is poised to decide whether to press forward with a possible takeover of the management of the county’s fire and rescue service.

Read more
Lorne Green
Wed, 06:30

A church says it has lost hundreds of pounds to an estate agent who has gone to ground owing landlords thousands.

Read more
Watton
Tue, 13:45

It opened under a blaze of publicity, but a branch of the family electricals firm Adcocks is closing in Dereham.

Read more
Dereham

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 8°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy