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Britain invests in facilities for F-35 aircraft

Britain says it is building facilities for operation of its future F-35 Lightning II aircraft fleet at a Royal Air Force base in the east of the country.

By Richard Tomkins

LONDON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Nearly $462 million is being invested in Eastern England for facilities to handle F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the Ministry of Defense reported.

The funding will be directed at RAF Marham, with work planned to begin on infrastructure and facilities by the end of this year.

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The construction work will create 1000 new jobs directly in the construction phase of the project and an additional 700 jobs in the supply chain, the ministry said.

"The East of England has a proud military tradition and today's announcement is fantastic news for the 4,500 people employed at RAF Marham and the region as a whole," said Prime Minister David Cameron.

"This is a clear example of how the decisions we have made as part of our long-term economic plan are enabling us to invest, creating the jobs, growth and investment that will benefit hard-working people here in Marham and across the UK."

While Royal Air Force F-35s operate from RAF Marham, the U.S. Air Force will operate their first two F-35 squadrons from RAF Lakenheath.

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