New Hangar and Resurfaced Runways Among Improvements at RAF Marham
On 21 June, the UK Ministry of Defence announced the award of a contract valued at £135 million to a joint venture of Galliford Try and Lagan Construction to support F-35 infrastructure at RAF Marham.
Marking a milestone in F-35 support for the Royal Air Force (RAF), the work will deliver a new hangar capable of housing 12 aircraft, from which they will deploy to the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class carriers, giving the UK world class carrier strike capability. It will improve existing facilities, including resurfacing two existing runways and taxiways, while the station remains operational. Vertical Landing Pads will also be added to accommodate the F-35B’s ability to land vertically, a capability previously covered by the HARRIER.
This major investment in RAF Marham is the last of seven projects, worth £250 million, undertaken to ready the station for the arrival of the aircraft in 2018. 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 is an advanced, 5th-generation aircraft that will initially be operated by 617 Squadron, RAF, followed by 809 Naval Air Squadron. Combined, they will transform the UK’s ability to project UK influence overseas. Initial flight trials for F-35 jets from the new carriers are on track to begin in 2018, building towards delivering a Carrier Strike capability for the UK from 2020.