The MoD say it has awarded a contract worth £160m to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver infrastructure to ready RAF Lakenheath for two squadrons of US F-35 jets.
Although the base is an RAF station, it hosts United States Air Force units and personnel. The host wing is the 48th Fighter Wing, also known as the Liberty Wing.
The contract awarded to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick includes the construction of a flight simulator facility, a maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities, say the MoD in a release.
The flight simulator will have the capacity to link to other simulators used pilots across the UK and beyond, allowing expertise to be shared and pilots from the UK and US to train together on a regular basis.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood, said:
“For more than one hundred years now our armed forces have fought in defence of our common values and interests. Our two countries have developed the deepest, broadest and most advanced relationship of any two nations.
Today marks another step towards reinforcing the strong partnership between our two nations and an exciting milestone for RAF Lakenheath.
This investment will see substantial benefits to local economy, bringing 1,000 new personnel with their families and we will work hard to ensure that the benefits will last long after construction ends.”
USAF 48th Fighter Wing Commander, Colonel Will Marshall, said:
“This is an exciting milestone for the 48th Fighter Wing and for all our partners. We’re transforming RAF Lakenheath together, and the work we do today is critical to the future security of the United States, the United Kingdom and the NATO Alliance.”
DIO Commercial Director, Jacqui Rock, said:
“We welcome this investment into RAF Lakenheath. This is an incredible opportunity for UK Defence and for the local area and DIO is pleased to be able to support the development of this key infrastructure which will make the beddown of the US F-35s possible.”