RAF MARHAM, U.K., 19 April 2016. Lockheed Martin, prime contractor on the F-35 aircraft program, selected BAE Systems to build engineering and training facilities at Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham in Norfolk, in readiness for the arrival of the UK's first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2018.
BAE Systems will construct three facilities to support the operation of the F-35 fleet: a maintenance and finish facility, a logistics operations center, and an integrated training center. The work is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.
"The construction work at RAF Marham signals the start of an exciting time for the BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin team as the U.K. prepares for the arrival of the first F-35 Lightning II jets,” affirms Cliff Robson, senior vice president - F-35 Lightning II at BAE Systems Military Air & Information business. “The contract also underlines BAE Systems' continued involvement with the F-35 Lightning II program and our company's credentials in providing infrastructure for the U.K.'s military aircraft operations. We have a proven pedigree in delivering maintenance and support to the Royal Air Force fast jet fleets at bases throughout the U.K., including RAF Marham, where we have been supporting the operation of the Tornado GR4 fleet for the last decade."
The £118 million contract award coincides with the early completion of the tenth aft fuselage for the U.K. aircraft at BAE Systems' manufacturing site in Samlesbury, Lancashire. The event is a major production milestone for the U.K. aircraft: the completion of the tenth UK aft fuselage ahead of schedule. The fuselage will now be delivered to the F-35 final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.
The milestone delivery has been welcomed by Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon. "This is an important milestone in the delivery of the U.K.'s new cutting-edge combat aircraft. It underlines the vital contribution British industry is making to the global F-35 program. The planes are part of our plan for stronger and better defence, backed by a budget that is rising this year for the first time in six years, and will keep rising until the end of the decade."
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