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The Lightning combat aircraft has links with Norfolk going back many years. The Mach 2 single-seat fighters were stationed at RAF Coltishall (now closed) in the 1960s and formed a vital part of Britain’s air defence system during the Cold War. The last of the English Electric Lightnings left Coltishall in 1974.
The latest Joint Strike Fighter shortly to be delivered to the RAF is also called the Lightning. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a multirole aircraft that will soon be arriving to take up station at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
This decision by the UKs Defence Chiefs is good news for Norfolk as it was feared that RAF Marham would close when the present Tornado aircraft based there were decommissioned.
It is thought that the great contribution made by the aircraft and the men and women of RAF Marham during the recent conflict in Libya may well have influenced the decision to maintain it as an important part of the UKs defences.
RAF Marham employs many local people and the base contributes a great deal to the local economy. This latest news looks as though it will secure the future of the base for many years to come.
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