RAF Lakenheath
News

RAF Lakenheath Gets $150 Million Of Investment For F-35A

RAF Lakenheath is set to benefit from nearly $150 million of investment to prepare the station for the arrival of the F35A. 

RAF Lakenheath

Image: RAF Lakenheath from the air (Credit: US Dept Of Defense)

RAF Lakenheath is set to benefit from nearly $150 million of investment to prepare the station for the arrival of the F35A. 

Although an RAF station, Lakenheath hosts United States Air Force units and personnel, the host wing being the 48th Fighter Wing.

The US President signed an agreement on Tuesday authorising $717 billion in defence spending, $148,467,000 (roughly £116,730,694) of which will be spent on RAF Lakenheath. 

The investment will be spent on a multitude of F-35 requirements, specifically: 6 Bay Hangar, ADAL Conventional Munitions MX, ADAL Parts Store, Age Facility, Dorm, Fuel System Maintenance Dock 2 Bay, Parking Apron.

President Trump Signs $717 Billion Defence Bill CREDIT WHITE HOUSE
Donald Trump signed the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act at a ceremony at the Fort Drum US Army base in New York (Credit: White House).

Captain Elias J. Small, 48th Fighter Wing said: "The 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath was announced as the first U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa unit to permanently home the F-35A Lightning II in January of 2015.

"We are scheduled to receive our first F-35s in late 2021 and will eventually maintain two operational squadrons here.

"We have been planning significant infrastructure updates to support our F-35 beddown for some time now, and the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act meets the military construction requirements for RAF Lakenheath."

US President Donald Trump, announcing the $717bn on Tuesday, said: "With this new authorisation, we will increase the size and strength of our military by adding thousands of new recruits to active duty, Reserve and National Guard units, including 4,000 new active-duty soldiers.

"We will replace ageing tanks, ageing planes and ships with the most advanced and lethal technology ever developed. 

"And hopefully, we’ll be so strong, we’ll never have to use it, but if we ever did, nobody has a chance."

The US is also to spend $80 million (£62 million) on development and refurbishment work at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.

The new facility is expected to be completed in 2020, to coincide with the initial operation of the UK's new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

In response to the Lossiemouth investment, an MoD spokeswoman said: "We are investing £3 billion in our nine-strong, new P-8A Poseidon fleet over the next decade.

"The contribution of $80 million from the US to the home of our submarine-hunters at RAF Lossiemouth will support our partnership with our closest ally and will help us be more efficient by sharing improved facilities, and will see us patrol the seas together to have more eyes and ears on any aggressors."