Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has revealed that Britain’s combat air power has reached new heights whilst speaking in a brand-new hangar displaying one-hundred years of fighter jets…
Speaking at RAF Marham, the Defence Secretary announced the UK now has nine F-35 Lightning jets ready to be deployed on operations around the world. The F-35 Lightnings will form the backbone of the UK’s combat air fleet alongside the Typhoon jets, which the Defence Secretary also announced have now been fitted with a state-of-the-art complex weapons suite to vastly increase its capability.
Under ‘Project Centurion’, worth £425m over the past three years, the Typhoon now has deep strike cruise missile Storm Shadow, air-to-air missile Meteor and the precision attack missile Brimstone at their disposal. It means the jets have boosted capabilities to intercept airborne missiles and strike ground based targets, seamlessly taking over from the Tornado’s attack role as it nears retirement.
Completed on-time and to budget, the upgrades transform the fleet into a world-leading multi-role combat air platform for decades to come. Military engineers and personnel have worked together with hundreds of UK workers from British defence firms including BAE Systems, MBDA and Leonardo to reach the milestone.
The Defence Secretary made the announcement in front of four different aircraft, in a brand-new maintenance hangar at RAF Marham, which he opened along with a state-of-the-art new training centre. These facilities, along with resurfaced runways and new landing pads to accommodate the jet’s ability to land vertically, are a key part of the £550m being invested in the Norfolk base.