LONDON, April 7 (UPI) -- A BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin UK team are building facilities in Britain to handle the operations of F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
Work on the facilities -- a maintenance and finish facility, a logistics operations center and an integrated training center -- at a Royal Air Force base is to begin this month. Completion is scheduled for early 2018, when Britain's F-35 fighters arrive.
"The construction work at RAF Marham signals the start of an exciting time for the BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin team as the UK prepares for the arrival of the first F-35 Lightning II jets," said Cliff Robson, senior vice president of F-35 Lightning II at BAE Systems Military Air & Information business. "The contract also underlines BAE Systems' continued involvement with the F-35 Lightning II program and our company's credentials in providing infrastructure for the UK's military aircraft operations.
"We have a proven pedigree in delivering maintenance and support to the Royal Air Force fast jet fleets at bases throughout the UK including RAF Marham, where we have been supporting the operation of the Tornado GR4 fleet for the last decade."
The British Ministry of Defense contract for the facilities is worth about $166.6 million.
Thursday's contract announcement coincided with the completion in Britain of another aft fuselage for a British F-35. The fuselage will be delivered to the F-35 final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.