BAE Systems, the global defence giant, has picked up an £118m contract for construction of an RAF engineering and training base in Marham Norfolk.
The work is in preparation for the delivery of the UK's first F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft in 2018.
The work on the base will kick off this month and set to be finished in 2018.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
This is an important milestone in the delivery of the UK's new cutting-edge combat aircraft. It underlines the vital contribution British industry is making to the global F-35 programme. 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.
Construction group Balfour Beatty has been commissioned by BAE to carry out much of the work with a £82.5m contract.
“We are committed to making this exciting development a success and extending the excellent track record BAE Systems andBalfour Beatty have for delivering defence projects in the UK," said Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty managing director of UK Construction Services. “Our proven expertise in defence and aviation means that we have developed technically advanced delivery solutions that will help to ensure that RAF Marham’s operational capability is maintained throughout our construction activities on base.”
In March 2013, the Secretary of State for Defence confirmed that RAF Marham would become the main operating station for the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II jets.