Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that the Ministry of Defence has awarded a £135 million contract to support the F-35 fleet at RAF Marham.
The work will reportedly deliver a new aircraft hangar capable of housing 12 of the new fast jet aircraft and improve existing facilities, including resurfacing two existing runways and taxiways, while the Station remains operational.
The MoD say that Vertical Landing Pads will also be added to RAF Marham.
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.”
A press release recived by the UK Defence Journal states:
“The major investment in RAF Marham is the last of seven projects worth £250m undertaken to ready the Station for the arrival of the aircraft in 2018. The contract has been awarded to a joint venture of Galliford Try and Lagan Construction Ltd, creating local jobs at RAF Marham and across East Anglia.
The F-35 Programme is the world’s largest single defence programme and the UK has played a major role from the outset. The F-35B Lightning aircraft is an advanced, 5th generation aircraft that the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy will fly from Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers or from Operating Bases such as RAF Marham.”
Recently the 10th F-35 for the United Kingdom was delivered by Lockheed Martin.
It is expected that all 138 F-35 aircraft will have been delivered by the 2030s. Around 2023, the Ministry of Defence have indicated that the UK will have 42 F-35 aircraft with 24 available as ‘front-line fighters’ and the remaining 18 will be used for training (at least 5 on the OCU), be in reserve or in maintenance.
Numbers right now are exactly where they’re expected to be and inline with the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
2 F-35B in LRIP run 3, 1 F-35B in LRIP run 4, 1 F-35B in LRIP run 7, 4 F-35B in LRIP run 8, 6 F-35B in LRIP run 9, 3 F-35B in LRIP run 10, 2 F-35B in LRIP run 11, 2 F-35B in LRIP run 12
6 F-35B in LRIP run 13, 8 F-35B in LRIP run 14 and 7 F-35B in LRIP run 15. This brings us to 42 in 2023.
The next year and next run brings us to the total of the first batch of aircraft, 48.