A new maintenance hangar for US fighter jets has opened at a Suffolk airbase. 

The fuel cell maintenance facility forms part of a multi-million dollar programme of investment at RAF Lakenheath to allow the US Air Force to service and maintain the fuel cell of F-35 aircraft. 

Steve Rix, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation Programme Director, said: "F-35s are complex, advance pieces of machinery with many moving parts that need to be kept in top condition for the effective operation of the aircraft.

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"The fuel cell maintenance hangar is a vital part of that process and will allow our colleagues from the US Air Force to keep their F-35s in top condition."

The steel-framed maintenance hangar, constructed by the KVF35 construction partner, has been designed to include a F-35A jet fuel purging system and a large variety of equipment for engineering services.  There are bays for two aircraft.

During the construction the team paid close attention to the local ecology, with schedules having to be amended to avoid some rare nesting birds, protecting nests and chicks until they had fledged.