The new Lightning II aircraft scheduled to arrive at RAF Marham in 2018 could safeguard Norfolk’s role at the heart of the UK’s defence sector for another half century, it has emerged.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The new Lightning II aircraft scheduled to arrive at RAF Marham in 2018 could safeguard Norfolk’s role at the heart of the UK’s defence sector for another half century, it has emerged.

The Joint Strike Fighter, pictured, which will replace the Tornado force, will be operated by the RAF and Royal Navy from land and sea with its primary base in west Norfolk.

The £100m F35B brings together the two strands of military history, yet also secures the future of the base – which injects £130m a year directly into the local economy.

When defence secretary Philip Hammond announced in March 2013 that Marham would be home to the new JSF, it effectively secured the base until at least 2040.

But in an exclusive interview with the EDP, RAF Marham station commander Group Captain Harv Smyth has suggested the partnership between Marham and the JSF has the potential to last much longer.

He said: “If you think that the JSF will have upwards of a 40-year life and there is a chance we will still be buying new JSFs until 2020-2030, it is not difficult to do the maths and see that we could end up having JSFs flying here (at Marham) all the way to 2060-2070. That is very much future-proofing for both the base here and the local community.”

Group Captain Smyth praised the role of the EDP-backed Make It Marham campaign, which saw off a closure threat for the base in 2011.

Norfolk’s long and distinguished naval and air force history is destined to come together in the new RAF Marham-based Lightning II strike aircraft. As the base gears up for the next generation of military strike aircraft.

MARK NICHOLLS focuses on the county’s illustrious past as a naval and air power in a six-part series – starting on Monday – specially-commissioned for the Eastern Daily Press.

1 comment

  • Hate to be the pedant but someone in your graphics department doesn't know his aircraft from his elbow. Your article says 'The Joint Strike Fighter, pictured ......" and you show a photo of a Tornado GR4 It's not even as if the two aircraft are remotely similar in appearance.

    Report this comment

    Lucioperca

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...

Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT