World

March 27, 2013

U.K. F-35s will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk

The United Kingdom’s Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced March 26.

“This is the next step in the restructuring of the Armed Forces, providing them with the world’s most capable combat aircraft,” said Hammond. “Basing the new Lightning II at RAF Marham makes strategic sense and best use of the resources available. It also secures the future of one of the U.K.’s most operationally-experienced bases.”

“The Lightning II is the most advanced jet our Armed Forces have ever operated, and carries on the tradition of the Harrier, while having far greater range, payload and defensive capability,” Hammond continued. “Now this decision has been taken, we can start the planning and infrastructure investment required for RAF Marham’s future.”

Lightning II will be jointly operated by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy and the aircraft will operate from the Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as well as from RAF Marham.

Hammond visited RAF Marham March 26 to view the facilities and talk to personnel ahead of the announcement.

“I am delighted that the Secretary of State today announced that RAF Marham is selected as the Lightning II Base,” said Grp. Capt. David Cooper, RAF Marham station commander. “This is excellent news for my personnel, for the local community and region, and for the Royal Air Force and U.K. defense.”

Today’s announcement also provided clarity on a number of other changes to bases in the United Kingdom, details of which were announced to Parliament in a Written Ministerial Statement. This includes RAF bases at Lossiemouth, Leuchars and Prestwick in Scotland, RAF Church Fenton in North Yorkshire, RAF Kirton in Lindsey in Lincolnshire; the Army base at Shorncliffe in Kent, and Ministry of Defence sites at St Athan in Wales, Ashchurch in Gloucestershire and Bicester.

These local basing announcements follow the announcement made earlier this month on the future laydown of the Army as it moves back from Germany and provided further detail of the restructuring announced in the Army 2020 report of July 2012.

The intention to reduce the sizes and bases of the three services was first announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010. Both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force were to reduce by 5,000 personnel and the Army by 7,000 by 2020. In 2011, the reduction in the Army was increased to 20,000 by 2020.

Since 2011, a major study has been undertaken by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, who are responsible for managing and maintaining the MOD estate. This study has ensured that the plans make better use of the Defence estate and ensures value for money for the taxpayer.

Lightning II update

The U.K’s first 2 Lightning II aircraft are currently participating in the U.S. test program and will remain in the United States. The U.K. expects to receive front line aircraft from 2015 onwards with an initial operating capability from land in 2018, followed by first of class flights from HMS Queen Elizabeth later that year.

The original intention (announced in 2005) was to base the aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth. Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, a number of changes have occurred that justified a further review of the basing options for Lightning II; these include RAF Lossiemouth becoming the new home of the United Kingdom’s Typhoon fleet, while the out of service date for the Tornado GR4, currently based at RAF Marham, has been brought forward to 2019.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>