Where you can park to watch F-35B Lightning stealth fighter jet arrive at RAF Marham in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 20:44 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 21:02 04 June 2018
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Farmers have agreed to let plane spotters use their land for parking as they try to catch a glimpse of the hotly-anticipated F-35B stealth fighter jet land in Norfolk for the first time.
The county is set to be at the forefront of Britain’s efforts to punch above its weight on the world stage when the multi-million aircraft touches down at its new home of RAF Marham this month.
The station has been busily preparing for the arrival of the warplanes with “unprecedented” stealth capabilities, investing £250m in new runways, hangars and a command centre.
And people outside the base have also been interested, with Norfolk Police expecting an increase in traffic around the base from plane spotters looking to catch a first glimpse of the plane’s arrival.
The exact date of the arrival has not been confirmed.
Officers are not planning to close any roads around the base when the aircraft does arrive.
But a statement released on RAF Marham’s Twitter account said: “RAF Marham has been working with local landowners to secure parking areas for those wishing to view the arrival of the first F-35B Lightning aircraft.”
It said it had the “kind permission” of landowners for people to use the following locations for parking:
• Paddocks at Eastgate Farm, Marham Road, off Chalk Lane
• Hall Farm, at Crash Gate 6 in Chalk Lane, 20m from the A1122 junction
• Grass verges along White Road, of the A1122, Barton Bendish.
The statement added: “The landowners will be collecting donations at their respective sites for the charities of their choice.
“Please note that this arrangement will only be for the day of the arrival of the aircraft.
“Anyone attending is asked to respect the property of the local landowners and to only use the designated viewing areas.”
In an earlier statement also released on Twitter, RAF Marham said: “Norfolk Constabulary will be in the vicinity of RAF Marham to ensure that any increase [in traffic] on the day is managed safely.”
The United Kingdom has embarked on a £9.1bn programme to buy 48 F-35Bs by 2025. It has pledged to eventually buy 138.
It is expected to bring a huge boost to RAF Marham, with 1,200 construction jobs created during preparation for its arrival – an incredible turnaround from a few years ago, when the base was threatened with closure.
Lightning Force Commander Air Commodore David Bradshaw has also said Russia will be keeping a close eye on the F-35B’s arrival in Norfolk, given the aircraft’s hi-tech capabilities.