The world’s most advanced fighter jets landed at RAF Marham yesterday evening,(6/6/2018) securing the long term future of the base. Marham will be the new home of the F35 Lightning Jets and comes as a result of substantial lobbying by MPs, local residents, business and councillors that dates back to 2010. RAF Marham was earmarked for possible closure with Tornado aircraft relocated to Scotland. The ‘Make it Marham’ campaign was launched, led by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, and saw a petition with 37,000 signatures presented to Number 10 Downing St. Substantial lobbying of ministers and the Prime Minister ensured the Tornado squadron remained at Marham and that it was to become the home of the next generation of fighter jets. £500 million has been invested in upgrading the base with a national operating centre - the headquarters for the Lightning Force constructed. A maintenance and finishing facility, which provides an eight-bay hangar for engineering maintenance purposes plus somewhere to paint the jets, has also been built. There is also an integrated training centre, which will house four full mission simulators and ground crew training facilities. Designed to mirror the stealth-like shape of the jet, the buildings are distinctly modern in their appearance in comparison to some of the buildings which precede them.
Elizabeth Truss MP said –‘It is fantastic to see the F35 arrive in Marham. I believe the campaigning by everyone from the media, local residents to businesses and politicians helped to secure the long term future of the base and as a result, RAF Marham will be home to the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world. We should all be very proud – the jobs, skills and value to the local economy, in excess of £100 million, is tremendous and I am absolutely delighted that the RAF are in South West Norfolk.’