The MOD has announced it's investing £160m on a project to get RAF Lakenheath ready for the arrival of the US Air Force F-35 jets. As many as 700 contractors will be needed at the Suffolk base to help build a F-35 flight simulator, maintenance units, new hangars and storage facilities.
The airbase will be the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe and continues the base’s long and proud history of supporting US Air Force capability in the UK.
Co-locating US and UK F-35 capability in the UK will help strengthen the historic military ties between the two nations as well as the partnership between the RAF and US Air Forces
The contract awarded to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick includes the construction of a flight simulator facility, a maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities.
At the height of construction, it is expected that there will be up to 700 contractors on site. The investment will also provide wider benefits to the local economy with over 1,000 personnel and family members living at the base. The MOD is also working closely with Forest Heath District Council to ensure that the opportunities to create employment and training are maximised to ensure they last beyond the end of construction.
The contract award is the first in a wider programme of work to support US Air Force operations in the UK, with more than US$1bn expected to be in invested in the UK over the next seven to ten years.