Work progresses at Lightning pace
A construction contract worth £27 million has been awarded by the DIO to provide facilities to support the new F-35B Lightning II aircraft at RAF Marham.
The contract has been awarded to Wates Construction Ltd and forms part of a £250 million programme of works, part of the major investment by the Ministry of Defence, to ready the station for the arrival of the aircraft.
Rob Dawson, Lightning II DIO Principal Project Manager said:
This award is great news. We look forward to working collaboratively with Wates to ensure the successful delivery of this important MOD project.
Under the contract, Wates Construction Ltd will deliver new Squadron Headquarters to support the new aircraft, scheduled to come in to service at the Norfolk Station in mid-2018.
A critical piece of infrastructure, the works, which will contribute to the creation of 300 jobs through the overall project, are expected to commence early 2017 and completed by mid-2018 with the building becoming the Squadron Headquarters for mission planning, administration and maintenance for the next generation of RAF operational fast jet aircraft.
Ian Vickers, Managing Director of Wates Construction Home Counties said:
We are delighted to be chosen for this exciting project at RAF Marham, which is our first success on the DIO framework. We look forward to working with client and their team in the delivery of the new Squadron Headquarters and bringing local opportunities for training and employment.
The fifth generation F-35B jets are the most advanced aircraft ever built for the UK and will be operated initially by 617 ‘The Dambusters’ Squadron, Royal Air Force, followed by 809 ‘The Immortals’ Naval Air Squadron, in 2023. Combined, they will transform the UK’s ability to project UK influence overseas. They will have the ability to operate from land as well as the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, the first of which is due to accept Lightning II onto her deck in 2019.