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Marham gets government backing as international hub base for new jet

The first of the UKs next generation stealth combat aircraft has today been handed over to the MoD.

At a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond formally accepted the first jet which will be known as Lightning II. 

The aircraft are Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. 

The UK is the first country outside the US to receive these aircraft and Mr Hammond today announced that the MoD intends to order a fourth Lightning II aircraft next year to add to the three already on contract.

The RAF and Royal Navy will conduct flight trials of the jets which will operate from land bases and from sea. 

Lightning II will be operational from land based airfields from 2018, when it will also commence flight trials off the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier. Mr Hammond announced that the jets are likely to be based at RAF Marham, Norfolk, but that no decision has yet been made.  

The UK will benefit from interoperability with the US Marin

The first of the UKs next generation stealth combat aircraft has today been handed over to the MoD. At a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond formally accepted the first jet which will be known as Lightning II. The aircraft are Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The UK is the first country outside the US to receive these aircraft and Mr Hammond today announced that the MoD intends to order a fourth Lightning II aircraft next year to add to the three already on contract. The RAF and Royal Navy will conduct flight trials of the jets which will operate from land bases and from sea. Lightning II will be operational from land based airfields from 2018, when it will also commence flight trials off the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier. Mr Hammond announced that the jets are likely to be based at RAF Marham, Norfolk, but that no decision has yet been made. The UK will benefit from interoperability with the US Marin

The Government is backing RAF Marham to become an international hub for the new Lightning II F-35 jet.

Defence Minister Philip Hammond confirmed last week that the new Eurofighter will be on the Tarmac at Marham in 2018.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss is delighted by last week’s announcement from the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, confirming that the new Lightning II F-35 jets will be on the Tarmac at RAF Marham in 2018.

He went on to to say that he would be pressing for Marham to become the international engineering hub for F-35s from other nations too.

Currently the USA, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands, have orders for the joint strike fighter.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss welcomed the news. She said ‘This is fantastic news for the base. We already have world class expertise working at Marham and the future opportunities for more high quality engineering jobs will be a tremendous boost for the local economy.

“Residents, businesses and politicians all campaigned hard to ensure RAF Marham is secure for many years to come.

“And with the retirement of the Tornado fleet in the next few years, the arrival of the Lightning II will create a new chapter for this very distinguished base with even greater potential for jobs, housing and education.”

 

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