£118m F-35 contract boosts BAE Systems in Lancashire

The hi-tech F-35 Assembly Facility at BAE Systems in Samlesbury, Lancashire:
The hi-tech F-35 Assembly Facility at BAE Systems in Samlesbury, Lancashire:
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BAE Systems has been awarded a £118 million contract to build engineering and training facilities at RAF Marham in Norfolk, in readiness for the arrival of the UK’s first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2018.

The contract award coincides with the early completion of the tenth F-35 aft fuselage for the UK aircraft at BAE Systems’ manufacturing site in Samlesbury near Preston.

The contract for the new facilities has been awarded by Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor of the F-35 aircraft programme.

With work beginning at RAF Marham this month, BAE Systems will construct three facilities to support the operation of the F-35 fleet; a maintenance and finish facility, a logistics operations centre and an integrated training centre. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The move comes just days after Lancashire was boosted by the State of Kuwait signing a contract for the procurement of 28 Eurofighter Typhoons.

The front fuselage, vertical tail and other detail manufacturing work for the 28 aircraft will be undertaken by BAE Systems in the UK.