The project team for the £160 million MoD project to build an F-35 flight simulator, maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities at RAF Lakenheath has been awarded by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. HLM will work alongside the Engineering and construction firm Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to design and deliver the new facilities.
The Suffolk airbase will be the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe. The flight simulator will have the capacity to link to other simulators used by pilots across the UK and beyond, allowing expertise to be shared and pilots from the UK and US to train together.
Managing director of aviation and defence at Kier, James Hindes, said: “It builds on our extensive expertise in the defence sector delivering first-class projects within secure environments including facilities at MoD Lyneham and RAF Shawbury.”
Mick Scherdel, Director at HLM, said:
“Since the Defence Academy 2000, HLM has been improving and enhancing training, living and learning across the UK Defence Estates. RAF Lakenheath will benefit further from our recent experience on Project Wellesley, DCLPA Worthy Down and Catterick Garrison.”
Defence minister Tobias Ellwood said:
“This investment will see substantial benefits to the local economy, bringing 1,000 new personnel with their families and we will work hard to ensure that the benefits will last long after construction ends.”
At the height of construction, it is expected that there will be up to 700 personnel on site.