Security contractors in the UK will be pleased to hear that military contractor BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth £118 million to construct training and engineering facilities at RAF Marham. These facilities are being built to welcome the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft into the RAF in 2018.
The contract coincided with the completion of the tenth aft fuselage for the F-35 Lightning aircraft meant for the UK. BAE Systems completed the fuselage early at their Samlesbury manufacturing site. The main military contractor for F-35 aircraft is Lockheed Martin, which was responsible for awarding the contract to BAE Systems.
April will see work starting at RAF Marham. BAE Systems is scheduled to construct three facilities to aid in the operation of the F-35 fleet. The military contractor will also build a maintenance and finish facility, an integrated training centre and a logistics operations centre. The project is expected to be completed in 2018, in time to welcome the F-35 fleet.
BAE Systems Senior Vice President for F-35 Lightning II Cliff Robson said that the construction work at RAF Marham is an exciting period for the teams from Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, especially with the UK getting ready to welcome the first F-35 aircraft.
Robson added that the project highlighted BAE Systems’ involvement in the F-35 programme, and that the company had the necessary experience and expertise to provide infrastructure for military aircraft operations in the UK.
The completed tenth UK aft fuselage will be delivered to Fort Worth, Texas, where the final assembly of the F-35 will take place.
Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon welcomed this achievement and said it revealed the contribution British industry was making to the F-35 programme.
Fallon added that the aircraft were part of the better and stronger defence plan that Britain had outlined, and this plan was supported by a rising budget, which will continue to increase until the end of the decade.