BAE Systems gets UK F-35B maintenance contract

A view of the future F-35 Lightning II Maintenance and Finish facility at RAF Marham. Photo: BAE Systems

The U.S. Department of Defense last week awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth more than £80m (US$102.2m) to deliver the initial training, engineering, maintenance and logistics support for the UK’s F-35 Lightning II fleet over a three year period.

Lockheed Martin has sub-contracted work worth £40m to BAE Systems and together the two companies will form a team of more than 100 technicians at RAF Marham, which will provide engineering and technical expertise, deliver air-crew and ground-crew training, facilitate routine maintenance and help to manage the jets’ global supply chain.

BAE Systems will take the lead sustainment role for F-35 Lightning II in the UK with Lockheed Martin continuing as prime contractor for global operations.

The award was announced by Defence Secretary RT Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP during a press conference with US Secretary of State for Defense General Jim Mattis. The visit was General Mattis’ first to the UK in his role as US Defense Secretary.

Work is already underway to prepare RAF Marham for the arrival of 617 Squadron, which will fly the UK’s initial operational F-35 Lightning II jets from 2018 onward.

The latest announcement follows a £142m package that was awarded to Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems in April 2016 to deliver an operations center, integrated training center and maintenance and finish building. According to BAE Systems, this work is on target to be completed in early 2018.

 

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